Get Traction on Your Desired Culture

Get Traction on Your Desired Culture - People Development Network
Get Traction on Your Desired Culture - People Development Network

I live in the Front Range of Colorado and experience some unusual weather patterns. While flowers are blooming and the temperature is stabilizing in many parts of the country, spring for us often brings a few more storms, and most of us are “done” with our fondness for snow by the end of April.

During these storms I have “enjoyed” a couple of harrowing rides down our steep paved driveway. My 4wD truck handles ice and packed snow pretty well, but the wet, soft snow of spring is another story. Ah, the adrenaline rush of having no traction, sliding 200 yards out of control–toward an 8’ drop off.

One year, I simply gave up. My courteous neighbors were happy to let me park my truck near their shed, located near the top of our driveway.

Three “what’s” can shed light on this situation.

What I want are my tires to grip the road in every weather condition firmly.

What I am experiencing is a lack of the desired traction.

What I am doing is living with the gap, short of the traction I covet.

The solution is entirely within my control. My tires do not have the grip they did when they were new. So, I could go by a new set. Or, learn how to put on the z-chains I bought.

Let’s apply this lesson to business.

Is your company getting traction on the high performance, values-aligned culture it desires?

You can use my three “what’s” to examine the effectiveness of your culture and move it toward what you want.

First, define what you want.  Take some time to consider your organization’s “reason for being.” Then refine daily expectations and goals to match that purpose. Outline what a great “corporate citizen” looks, acts and sounds like by developing values in behavioral terms. Then formulate a strategy to get there.

Second, examine what you are experiencing. To what degree are leaders and team members aligning their plans, decisions, and actions to the values of the organization. There are probably some behaving exactly as you desire.  However, it is likly you have many (most?) that aren’t consistently doing so. This reveals your gaps.

Third, decide what you will do to close those gaps.  There are some different ways you can do this. Find proven paths to try, but consider blazing a trail if something else will be more effectcive for your unique team.

Fourth, do it. Deciding and doing are two very different things. Deciding is passive. Doing is active. Do the doing!

For me, I found a video online to show me how to install the z-chains on my truck. I have also priced new tires and found a local installer who has them in stock. One way or another, tire traction will no longer be an issue for me.

For timely posts on improving your culture, visit



S Chris Edmonds

S Chris Edmonds

S. Chris Edmonds is a speaker, author, and executive consultant. He shares insights on organizational culture, servant leadership, employee engagement, and workplace inspiration. He writes books and articles and records podcasts. In his free time, he's a working musician with the Brian Raine band in Denver, CO.
S Chris Edmonds

Latest posts by S Chris Edmonds (see all)

Leave a Reply