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The Champion Forum Podcast

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TCF013: Company Culture with David McGlennon

Thank you for listening to the Champion Forum Podcast with Jeff Hancher! A culture is defined as the behaviors, customs, and achievements of a certain group of people. In business, culture provides rules of behavior for employees.

In this episode, Jeff is joined by David McGlennen, an accomplished businessman and the founder of Leadership. David sheds light on what makes up a strong business culture, the benefits of a strong business culture, and how you can begin to strategically create a culture that will strengthen your company or team.

Corporate Culture

Good companies have good cultures by chance. World-class companies have good cultures by design. Culture must be intentionally curated to become part of the DNA of the organization. A CEO can establish the culture, but everybody is responsible to maintain it.

Benefits of creating a strong, positive corporate culture

  • Helps you execute your strategy

  • Helps you recruit top talent

  • Increases employee engagement

  • Reduces turnover rate

  • Saves money and time

  • Happier employees

Strong bottom line

Q: Which benefit of culture is most important to you? How would your team be different if you could reduce turnover or have increased employee engagement?

Concerns people have about culture

  1. It takes effort and resources

  2. They don’t know how to do it

  3. It takes time to create habits

Q: When was the last time you thought about the culture of your team? What keeps you from being more intentional about culture?

How to create a culture

  1. Get together your key leaders or executive team.

  2. Determine where you want to go and the kind of success you want to achieve.

  3. Imagine or identify your ideal employee. List the behaviors they have that lead to success.

  4. Be vulnerable and open to feedback.

  5. Create a habit by going over one value before you begin a weekly (or other regular) meeting.

  6. Give permission for the team to hold you and their teammates accountable. Acknowledge that you might fail, but that you want to be held accountable as well.

  7. Remove anyone who does not meet the standards of the culture.

Q: How would you define your team’s culture right now? What would you like your team’s culture to look like?

Q: How do you feel about the idea of opening yourself up to feedback from other people with regard to how well you live up to the standards of your culture?

Q: Is there anyone on your team that is negatively impacting the culture? What has held you back from dealing with that person before now? How would your team look different if you were willing to challenge people to hold themselves to a higher standard?

Application Activities

  1. Evaluate the culture of your organization by writing down the behaviors you see your employees doing throughout the week that are helping your company succeed and the behaviors that are keeping the company from success. Write down the positive behaviors. For each of the negative behaviors, brainstorm one positive behavior that could take the place of the negative behavior. For example, if you see that your employees are complaining, you could create the positive behavior of willing presenting solutions.

  2. If your company already has values, work with the leaders closest to you to come up with one tangible behavior that would reinforce each of the values. Create a behavior behind each value and establish a routine that keeps the behavior fresh in the minds of your team members. Allow for discussion among your team regarding the action and be open to feedback. You might need to course correct, and that is okay! Use this time to get everyone back on the same page and keep your culture headed in the right direction.

  3. If you already feel that you have a strong company culture, ask yourself if you have been allowing anyone to act in ways that are not in line with your culture. Prepare yourself to have a tough conversation with that person. Evaluate their willingness and ability to change, and if needed, prepare to make a change. Remember that your culture is negatively impacted whenever you choose to tolerate behaviors that are outside your values. It is not just one or two employees that suffer, it is the entire organization.


Fish!: A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results - by Stephen C Lundin, Harry Paul, John Christensen, and Ken Blanchard

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