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CEOs Speak: How They Built Their Powerful Cultures

Posted by Irvine, Derek at Friday, 05/04/2012 9:15 am
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2.8 from 32 votes
Recognize This! – No company will build the same culture, but every organization should focus intentional effort on building the right culture for them.

I’ve been traveling a good deal again lately, which means I’ve had time to dig into my “organization culture and leadership” pile of books. A short flight recently gave me the opportunity to read Building a Culture of Intention, a collection of observations from CEOs on their own organization cultures. Today, I’ll share a selection of my favorite observations in the book, based on our best practices for truly strategic employee recognition.

Executives Must Be Involved

Lynn Ann Casey, CEO of arcAspicio:
“It is important to sustain our culture with every new hire and with every project and client that we take on. That requires a lot of executive-level oversight of both people and projects.”

Jere Brown, CEO, Dimension Data Americas:
“We wanted to emphasize that behavior starts at the top. Senior executives have to embrace and model the desired behaviors and hold others accountable for them… Today, [High Performance Culture] means more to our employees because they have seen our leaders and their peers living these values in their day-to-day work.”

Lisa Dezzutti, President and CEO, Market Connections, Inc: “Knowing that culture stats at the top, I have to remind myself to stop and celebrate before moving on to the next project.”

Bring Your Values & Goals to Life in the Daily Work

Mark Carrier, Senior Vice President of B.F. Saul Company:
“We really put in place a program to bring new materials to our line staff that helps our organizational goals come to life and re-energize our people. It keeps our core mission at the front of people’s minds while simultaneously letting us stay course.”

Mary Naylor, CEO, VIPdesk:
“The core values of our culture must continue to be emphasized beginning with the orientation process and continue to be highlighted throughout a team member’s tenure… Our Human Resources effort will be critical in helping us maintain our culture. It begins with recruiting individuals who fit into our organization and existing culture.”

Make Your Culture Integral to Your Recruiting and Onboarding

Krista McMasters, CEO, Clifton Gunderson, LLP: “We immerse our new hires in our culture the minute they come on board… We want employees that fit our culture – people who are open, principled, and interested in serving clients in exceptional ways. As a result, we recruit employees the same way we develop business.”

Beth Monroe, President, JustinBradley: “We live our culture on an ongoing basis. That makes it easy for new hires to make business decisions, because the road is clear on what our values and ethics are.”

Base Performance Evaluations on Your Core Values

Mary Naylor, CEO, VIPdesk: “We also try to recognize our team members for their contributions as much as possible… Going forward, performance reviews will focus more directly on the core values of the company as it relates to the team member. We continue to tie everything into the core values, mission, and culture of the organization.”

Doug Layman, Former President & CEO, Kadix Systems (since acquired by Dynamics Research Corporation): “Our twice-yearly formal executive performance reviews included assessment areas for 1) compliance with values, 2) meeting company objectives, and 3) position specific skills.”

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