Is Culture Really a Reflection of the Leadership Team?

What seems most important about this blog is that transformative cultural initiatives identify leaders from EVERY level of an organization, building transformation into every team. Empowerment may have become a buzzword, but like every buzzword, the word started with an earnest, meaningful approach to community and to “leader”/”follower” relationships. Leadership as one-on-one, as relationship (to repeat myself.) That’s the most important thing, isn’t it? Culture is something we all co-create. That’s the way it is.

Examining Leadership

Frank Wander, in Culture: The Leadership Mirror, articulates a hypothesis regarding why “transformative culture initiatives” often fail in organizations.

Wander suggests, correctly, that meaningful culture change occurs only through behavior, not words. While any executive, team manager, or front-line supervisor can give lip service to a laundry list of values, only authentic behavior will promote the desired culture.

Culture in an organization is, after all, simply the sum of the behaviors of team members. Clayton M. Christensen described culture as “this is how we do things around here.” This being the case, Wander makes the case that leadership behavior (most notably that of the board of directors and executive team), is the most likely way to successfully morph an organizational culture.

While leaders play a large role in facilitating a culture change, it is the individuals in the organization that really move the ball forward.

Consider the effect, for example…

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