The 7 Keys of Culture - Pt. 2 (podcast)

In this week's Leaders Factory Podcast, we're continuing our series from Dr. Samuel Chand's book Cracking Your Churches Culture Code. In this week's podcast Charles Scioritino and I continue our discussion on the 7 Keys of Culture built from an acronym that spells the word CULTURE. This podcast tackles the single, biggest key that will ultimately determine whether your culture is healthy or unhealthy. Without this key, your organization will eventually go down in flames. Listen in as we discuss this one key and the raw questions we asked our team to determine where our culture is really at.



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7 Keys of Culture:

  1. Control. People function most effectively if they are given control (or authority) with responsibility. Teams thrive when there is a free flow of information and ready access to resources. Here are the questions we asked our staff: - Are the lines of authority and responsibility clear on our team? How can you tell?
 - Do people know what is expected of them, or are they confused sometimes?
 - Would you say there is too much control from the top, too little, or just the right amount? Explain.

  2. Understanding. Every person on a team needs to have a clear grasp of the vision, his or her role, the gifts and contributions of the team members, and the way the team functions.

 Here are the questions we asked our staff: 
- Is the vision for our team both God-sized and specific? Explain. 
- Do people on our team feel understood, valued, and directed to give their best each day? 
- Do most lines of communication on the team flow from the leader, or is there good cross-pollination? What’s the result of this flow?

  3. Leadership. Healthy teams are pipelines of leadership development.
 We need to make a distinction between developing leaders and training leaders. Training is important, but it’s a management issue, equipping people to perform a particular task, whereas development is based on the WHY and focuses on the heart and character of the individual. 

Here are the questions we asked our staff: - How would you describe the leadership pipeline in our organization? 
- How well is the system working in identifying and developing rising leaders? 
- What kinds of resources (time, money, personnel, and so on) are devoted to leadership development?
  4. Trust.
 Trust is important up, down, and across the organizational structure. 
When people trust each other, they make a strong connection between the vision, their own roles, the input of others, strategic planning, and the steps of implementation.
 Trust may be freely given, but it is usually earned as people watch each other respond in good times and bad. 
It grows in an environment that is HOT: honest, open and transparent.

 Here are the questions we asked our staff: - In what ways is trust being built or eroded on our team? 
- How does creating a HOT (honest, open, and transparent) environment build trust? In what ways does it threaten people?
 - How is failure treated on our team? How does that response affect the level of trust?
 - how does the team handle gossip? Are there clear guidelines? Should there be some? Why or why not?
  5. Unafraid. Great leaders welcome dissenting opinions, as long as they are offered in good will and with an eye toward a solution. Here are the questions we asked our staff: - What are some examples of courage on our team in the past year or so? 
- How does one person’s courage affect a team? How do defensiveness and timidity affect it? 
- Why is it important that wisdom direct a person’s courage? What happens when a person is courageous without being wise?
  6. Responsive. Teams with healthy cultures are alert to open doors and ones that are closing.
 Responsive teams don’t just focus on big goals and sweeping strategies. They develop the habit of taking care of the little things, such as promptly returning phone calls, responding to emails, and communicating decisions to everyone who needs to know when he or she needs to know it.
 The larger the organization grows, the greater the amount of energy that needs to be invested in being responsive to people inside and outside the team. Here are the questions we asked our staff: - How responsive is our team to threats and opportunities? What are the signs of responsiveness (or lack of it)?
 - How often do “little things” like returning phone calls and emails fall through the cracks on our team? Is this a problem? Why or why not?
 - Does our team’s current organizational system (delegation, feedback, collaboration, and so on) foster responsiveness or hinder it? Explain.
  7. Execution. Teams often talk about decisions but fail to follow through on the implementation.
 Clear delegation is essential to execution. People don’t do what we expect; they do what we inspect. Plans are worthless unless they have target goals, deadlines, access to resources, and a budget. Here are the questions we asked our staff: - How clearly defined are the goals and responsibilities of each person in our organization? How do you know?
 - How are people held accountable on our team?
 - How do team members give feedback to each other about their performance and communication?
 - How would you describe the blend of heart motivation and the pursuit of excellence on our team?

Questions: What is your leadership development plan? How HOT is your culture? Please leave your comment in the "Leave a Reply" box below.