People & Money

Behind every great team is a great work culture

An Apple-Disney merger. Disney CEO Bob Iger, in the excerpt from his forthcoming memoir “The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons From 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company”, says he believes Disney and Apple would have merged if Steve Jobs hadn’t died in 2011.
 
What a world that would be! But, alas, we’re in this world.

 

The cultural element in M&As’ integration process has been identified as one of the key issues that may help explain the failure of many mergers and acquisitions. In short, culture isn’t just one thing. It’s everything.

It’s why Apple is famous for its maxim, “Culture beats strategy.” You have to have the right strategy, of course, but it is your culture that will determine whether your strategy is successful.

Think about your work environment for a moment. What words come to mind? Words like fun, freedom, creative, energized? Or bureaucratic, stifling, drab, pressured?

Relaxed co-workers at a business meeting

Our most important job as a leader is to create a culture. We are creating culture every moment of every day by what we think, say and do. Everything we do – or don’t do – is examined in all quarters. People are going to examine everything about us. We, as leaders set the tone and decide what the team values and stands for, but it’s important to note that our culture is brought to life and created by everyone on our team.

I wish I had been a leader then that I am now but, unfortunately, I wasn’t. I didn’t know how important culture was to the success of a team. I now know that building a great team begins with creating a great culture. I changed. I was a hard driver and all about the results. These days I make culture my focus and we work to become a great team instead of just a bunch of individuals who wanted to meet our goals.

You may not have the most talented team, but you can work to create the best team culture. There’s a lot you can’t control, but you can control how much time, energy and care you invest in your culture. I’m not going to lie and say that talent isn’t important to be a successful team. But I’ve seen many teams with a lot of talent and a bad culture perform badly. Too many teams focus on the fruit of the tree – the results, the numbers. They ignore the root – their culture, people and relationships. They think it’s the numbers that matter most.

What they don’t realize is that it’s not the numbers that drive the culture; it’s the culture that drive the numbers.

Research from Harvard University supports the idea that the emotions you feel are contagious and affect the people around you. Your team is likely to catch your bad mood and on the flip side, they will catch your good mood as well. As a team member, your attitude, energy and leadership are contagious, and has a big impact on your culture and team.

My team today is connected by a common culture. There is a tremendous amount of sacrifice from this group of individuals. The results we continuously achieve would never had been possible without the dedication of the team, belief instilled by leadership and the connection to common culture. The power of the team comes from how committed they are to one another, and from how unified they are with the common goal.

I feel more like a team member than a leader because the team members lead each other.

Culled from LinkedIn

 

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