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23/10/2014

23/10/2014 The Leadership 'X' Factor That Creates 'It' Companies - Forbes http://onforb.es/1lShSs9 Mike

The Leadership 'X' Factor That Creates 'It' Companies - Forbes

'It' Companies - Forbes http://onforb.es/1lShSs9 Mike Myatt Contributor I write about leadership myths, and

Mike Myatt Contributor

I write about leadership myths, and bust them one-by–one.

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

6/26/2014 @ 11:31AM

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The Leadership 'X' Factor That Creates 'It' Companies

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How do some companies evolve to “it company” status while others languish in relative obscurity? Whether you think of more mature companies like Google, Whole Foods, or Unilever, or early stage marvels like Warby Parker, Vendini, or RevZilla, the hottest companies on the planet understand it’s not what they do or how they do it, but why they do what they do that defines who they are as an organization. Put simply, company culture is the real competitive advantage great organizations trade on.

The “X” Factor Defined Great Culture – it’s that ethereal “X” factor every organization strives to attain but few achieve. It’s often talked about, but rarely understood. Culture is in fact more than a buzzword – it’s the very lifeblood of an organization. Culture is what develops and sustains an enterprise. Every organization has a culture. The question CEOs must ask of themselves is do they have the culture they need? Culture must be more than an afterthought – it must be intentional, purposed, and created by design; not by default.

Viewing Culture Through The Right Lens Culture – it’s less about structure and more about values, vision, talent, behaviors and a shared purpose. When you think culture, think open-source not proprietary, adaptive not static, actionable not theoretical, and progressive not regressive. Above all think shared, cohesive, and simple. So why do so many organizations get culture wrong? They copy instead of create, they fail to understand people, context, and purpose matter, and they don’t have the resources to truly manage the rigor associated with aligning the business of culture with the execution of strategic imperatives.

Few will argue about the importance of culture, but vehement disagreements arise when you talk about the proper frameworks and constructs needed to create the right culture. Let me attempt to put an end to the silliness of these petty debates. Smart leaders don’t confuse fads and trends with culture. They

23/10/2014

The Leadership 'X' Factor That Creates 'It' Companies - Forbes

realize that culture (at least a sustainable one) consists of more than ping- pong tables and free food. The key to culture is found in what I refer to as creating a culture of leadership.

Getting Traction Stop creating a false premise that strategy and culture are in competition with one another by refusing to engage in the strategy versus culture debate. It’s

not strategy or culture, but strategy and culture. Clearly culture should be a core element of strategy, and while it’s important to understand that the vision for culture might be set by the tone at the top, the best cultures are not mandated or imposed on people, they are co-created by the people – people are the culture. They secret sauce to culture is leadership ubiquity. The point

at which your entire workforce not only sees themselves as leaders, but are

empowered to think and act like leaders is when cultural transformation has taken root.

It Boils Down To Leadership Nothing inspires change and innovation like great leadership, and likewise, there is no more costly legacy system to maintain than poor leadership. Put simply, the greatest testimony to the power of real leadership is what happens in its absence – very little.

A culture of leadership replaces rigid frameworks with loose communities of

collaborative networks. Complex decisions are not reserved for someone sitting atop a hierarchical structure, but are driven down and across the organization to unleash new levels of engagement and productivity. The best way to create a culture of leadership is to value and reward authentic and effective leadership. Create a culture based upon an ethos that empowers, attracts, differentiates, and sustains. The only culture that flourishes over the long haul is a culture of leadership.

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