As a self-confessed chocoholic I am always delighted to see a chocolate fountain at any event I’m attending.  I love to watch the way the thick warm chocolate flows down over each layer.  What a treat!  And, have you ever noticed how a strawberry, stuck into the chocolate at one of the top layers alters the flow of chocolate downward over all the other layers?  So delicious!

Okay… snap out of it!  What does this have to do with corporate culture?

Well, like the chocolate fountain, corporate culture starts at the top and flows downward to every level beneath.

Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, began a culture transformation four years ago.  He wanted to change the Microsoft culture from one of “know-it-all” to one of “learn-it-all”!  To do this he began at the top with a set of leadership principles, which are now embraced from the leadership team down to the most recent hire.

Create clarity, generate energy, deliver success!

So… what if you want to change your culture, what if you want to alter the flow of the downward influence.  Perhaps you want more accountability, more innovation, greater efficiency or greater customer focus. Consider these first steps

  1. Examine the culture that you have. What’s working and what is not?
  2. Set culture goals. What outcomes would change if you had the culture you want?
  3. Examine your leadership team. Do they model the behaviours that you need?
  4. Set your leadership principles. Keep it simple and start changing behaviours.

Now, back to the strawberry!

Leaders in your company are like the strawberry in the chocolate fountain.  They must be aligned around a set of principles and behaviours that will set the culture tone for those around them and all the layers below them.

Developing leaders means changing their behaviours.  This is easy to say but difficult to accomplish.  It takes focus and it takes time, however, it is time well spent.  And remember, even supporting the development of just one leader can have a measurable impact on your culture. Just like the strawberry in the fountain.

Let’s talk more about measuring your current culture, aligning your culture with your strategies, setting your leadership principles and coaching the leaders on your teams.

Chocolate Fountains and Corporate Culture

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