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How to Test the Strength of Your Company Culture

Posted by Irvine, Derek at Friday, 06/01/2012 2:57 pm
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3.1 from 53 votes
Recognize This! – Your company (and your culture) is only as strong as your people.

Readers of my blog know a central theme for me is company culture. In fact, it’s the subject of the book I co-wrote with my CEO Eric Mosley, Winning with a Culture of Recognition.

Now, Eric has published an article in Fast Company magazine (part 1 in a two-part series, actually), that dives into precisely how you can “test” the strength of your culture using the “outliers” in your organization. As Eric says in the article:

Quotation“In the statistical world, outlier is defined as ‘one that appears to deviate markedly from other members of the sample in which it occurs.’ [Malcolm] Gladwell took this term and leveraged it to illustrate his observations regarding high achievers who excel in our society. I took a slightly different approach, applying this term based on what we know about today’s workforce–-and their impact on company culture.

“I examined both the people who are the highest of performers (those who exhibit desirable behaviors according to senior management) as well as those workers who exhibit less than desired behaviors yet still may be very strong producers. Let’s call them Behavioral Outliers.”

Eric then looks at the difference between the “positive behavioral outliers” and the “negative behavioral outliers,” questioning:

Quotation“Looking at both the positive and negative outliers, their success within a company can be traced back to the company’s culture (and how each are handled). The potential impact on the rest of the workforce and especially on overall company culture can be enormous. For example, should co-workers be forced to deal with the alienation and clear lack of a “team approach” for the sake of profits? In the long run, does this do more harm than good?”

Eric concludes the article with three tips for creating a strong positive culture that includes any outlier.

Click through to Fast Company to get the full picture on how to test the strength of your culture based on the behaviors of your employees.

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