Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Set the Cultural Tone


If you have been around the fire service any length of time I imagine you have heard that "culture starts at the top." I can imagine that you are tired of hearing that especially if you are at the top. However, creating or setting the tone for an organization's culture is the duty that comes with being in an influential position, not just at the top. As we are aware there are many people who are influential thought the organization and at all levels.

So why does culture matter anyway? To begin with, certain cultures attract certain types of people. We need to recruit and keep the people we want and need. Outstanding fire departments need to have outstanding personnel and the tone of an organization plays a significant role in who comes on board and who rises through the ranks. The cultural tone additionally contributes to how the organization functions and operations are handled. This tone influences individuals approach to problem solving, how they interact with others, the levels of motivation, innovation and creativity, loyalty, trust, risks, fun factors and the list goes on but I think you can see the big picture.

So let's take just a few moments and have you do an intra inspection of your organization starting first with you.
-Are you influencing the culture positively?
-Are influential people influencing positively?
-Do you have the right people on board?
-Is the organization's cultural positive or negative?

Cultural can be changed. It is much easier to become a negative culture than a positive one in a short period of time. Just a quick note here, the cultural of your organization will impact everything you do. So let's look at it this way, it may impact your life.

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2 comments:

  1. Culture does start at the top. And I thgink it is importatnt to know and understand how the culture has developed over the years. Establishing a Career Develpment Standard to develop upper management from the ranks. In other words "Raise your own Chiefs". Often Chiefs are brought in from the "Outside" so they may be slow to truly understand the culture.
    m

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  2. I have said that, if you want to be an organization that attracts the best people, then you have to have an organization that is worth joining. If you create and maintain a culture where everyone has the potential to be the next leader, then potential recruits will know before they ever join that support starts at the top and flows down. The pyramid will be inverse with the top pushing from the bottom up.
    The culture will be positive because it will be successful.

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