How to Use Culture as a Leadership Tool

team members hiking up a mountain and helping one another

How to Use Culture as a Leadership Tool

Make it Strategically Relevant

Organizational culture has become faddish and thus become oversupplied and underspecified. Culture is all about execution. By actively managing culture, an organization will be more likely to deliver on its strategic objective in the long run.

Pro Tips

  • Develop your business strategy prior to your organizational culture.

  • Clearly articulate the strategic goals of the organization to your employees and give less formal introduction to your employees on how to execute strategy. The more ownership they take over their actions, the better they will perform.

Promote a Strong Culture Among Employees

Strong cultures enhance performance by energizing employees - unifying colleagues around shared ideals and values. Strong cultures also shape and coordinate employees’ behavior, which yields higher performance. 

Pro Tips

  • Try to refrain from using formal procedures and policies to enforce your culture.

  • Encourage and empower employees to think on their own through informal, culture norms.

  • Empowering employees to think on their own will increase their commitment to the organization’s goals.

Cultivate Norms That Encourage Innovation and Change

Leaders of the organization should cultivate their organization’s culture with norms that support risk-taking and change. When employees feel psychologically safe, they engage in learning behavior.

Pro Tips

  • Encourage and reward all employees to share their creative ideas.

Go Deeper

Take a deep-dive into this topic and gain expert, working knowledge by joining us for the program that inspired it!

Leading Strategy Execution through Culture Program. Award-winning, Paul J. Cortese Distinguished Professor of Management, Dr. Jenny Chatman, guides participants through a two-day intensive culture clinic to unleash the power of your organization and harness culture as a strategy execution tool. Driven by Dr. Chatman's research and consulting focus that has made her a leading international expert with clients across top Fortune 500 companies and global medium-sized firms, participants in this program will learn how to successfully lead and leverage organizational culture to accelerate their organization’s strategic vision.