I’ve made the point for some time now that your culture should, ideally, be aligned with what drives your success. Lots of companies get lots of attention for how cool they are by having game rooms or beer taps, and that’s all fine with me–but it doesn’t excuse you from connecting what your culture is to what drives the success of the enterprise. Sure, I’d love a beer at work as much as the next guy, but unless you can convince me that serving beer at work correlates positively with more success, then I’m not really impressed.

And before you agree with me too much, take a minute to do an honest assessment of what actually drives the success of your organization. I’m not convinced that most people even have a theory about that, let alone some data that shows their going in the right direction. We all have a broad understanding that if we follow our strategic direction and maintain some generic standards around “quality” and “excellence,” then we’ll be successful.

I don’t think so.

I think if we keep it vague like that, then at best we’ll be productive, but I think these days the bar is higher than just “productive.” So sorry to add another thing to your leadership to-do list, but it’s time to get serious about defining what drives your success. This will require some deep intelligence inside your organization. There’s a strategy piece┬áto it, but there’s also a human segment, a workforce analytics segment, and, of course, a culture segment. The organizations that become disciplined about this are going to have a huge advantage.

image credit

Jamie Notter