“Culture—not vision or strategy—is the most powerful factor in any organization. It determines the receptivity of staff and volunteers to new ideas, unleashes or dampens creativity, builds or erodes enthusiasm, and creates a sense of pride or deep discouragement about working or being involved there. Ultimately, the culture of an organization—particularly in churches and nonprofit organizations, but also in any organization—shapes individual morale, teamwork, effectiveness, and outcomes.” –from Chapter One Often, organizational leaders confuse culture with vision and strategy, but they are very different. Vision and strategy usually focus on products, services, and outcomes, but culture is about the people—an organization’s most valuable asset. Culture Catalyst: Seven Strategies to Bring Positive Change to Your Organization offers a practical resource for discovering the deficits in an existing organization’s culture, and includes the steps needed to assess, correct, and change culture from lackluster to vibrant and inspirational, so that it truly meets the needs of the organization. Prominent leadership consultant Sam Chand describes the five easily identifiable categories of organizational culture (Inspiring, Accepting, Stagnant, Discouraging, and Toxic), and includes diagnostic methods that leaders can use to identify the particular strengths and needs of their organization’s culture. To help in this process, there is also a separate, free, online assessment tool (www.samchandculturesurvey.com). Once an organization’s culture is clearly identified, leaders can put in place a strategy for applying the seven keys of CULTURE (Control, Understanding, Leadership, Trust, Unafraid, Responsive, and Execution) that will make their culture one that stimulates people to be and do their very best and ultimately reach their highest goals.
SAMUEL R. CHAND