Monday, November 6, 2017

Fast Five: Do We Care Enough About Culture?

Great culture isn't a blessing, it's a necessity. My high school coach, Sonny Lane, created a tough, 'conditional love' environment for his teams. The Navy has a consistent culture based on "what is good for the mission?" Failing cultures devalue important employees and mismatch priorities and talent. 

John Miller's QBQ defines culture: "People speak often about organizational "culture." A working definition of this well-worn term might be: Shared values and acceptable norms of behavior. It's the way we as individuals—collectively comprising the organization—think, feel, and act. Culture is about how we treat each other, respond to each other, and support each other—or how we don't. It's characterized by behaviors that are allowed and considered normal and those that aren't."

 1. Define and communicate your intended organizational culture. For our (yet to be finalized) team, that informs TEAMWORK, IMPROVEMENT, and ACCOUNTABILITY. 

Teamwork - work intended to develop individual excellence for the betterment of self-less play together. Serve your teammates. 

Improvement - focus continuously on becoming your better version - as a person, student, and teammate. 

Accountability - hold yourself and the team to high standards of character and work. Control what you can control, your attitude, choices, and effort. 

2. Expect a "performance-focused, feedback-rich" environment. We can be demanding without being demeaning. Coaching is not personal criticism, it's education to change behavior. "Don't play in the traffic" is both for your good and the team's benefit.  

3. Build servant leadership as a priority. Value your team, whether it's your family, your team, your class, or the broader community. Act with purpose, unity, service, thankfulness, and humility. 

4. Culture begins with the individual. The expectation (norm) begins with making the people around you better - at home, in the classroom, and on the court. That includes having energy, sharing energy, executing, and the 'edge' of making a difference. 

5. Simple is better. Our process and culture don't matter if players don't understand and buy in. We need clarity and simplicity to implement a plan. I favor limiting rules, the most important of which is, "don't embarrass yourself or the team through your actions." 

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