What Drives Your Success?

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As I’m sure most of you know, I spend most of my time these days working on culture change inside organizations. And one of the areas I’ve been hammering on lately has been the idea of getting crystal clear on what drives success.

It’s a really basic formula for culture change:

  1. Get clear on what your culture REALLY is. Not what the CEO says it is. Not what you think it should be ideally. Not a list of lofty core values that people don’t remember. Get clear on what it’s really like to work there, on a daily basis, at all levels. You get this, by the way, in our Workplace Genome project.
  2. Get clear on what drives success. Again, not just reciting your mission or your three big strategic planning goals. But very specifically, what aspects of your strategy and your implementation will move the success needle more than others, because those very specifically need to be supported in your culture.
  3. Align your culture with what drives success. This is the culture change part, and there are short-term quick wins and long-term infrastructure changes, but honestly, this change part is MUCH easier when you get 1 and 2 right.

And for associations in particular, I think #2 is lacking. There are a lot of reasons for that, but debating the reasons feels like a waste of time to me. Let’s acknowledge that we’ve been way too high level on what makes us successful and just start over. This is one of the topics that Rick Rutherford (from YourMembership) and I talked about in his “Ask the Thought Leader” series on youtube. I enjoyed this conversation with Rick, so check out the whole thing, because he and I both are moving in the direction of getting in the faces of association leaders to push them into some new directions.

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