There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to defining organizational culture. The process starts with clearly outlining business goals—whether the focus is on maximizing shareholder value or providing support to communities in need—but what comes next? Even though every company is different, the one thing they all have in common is people. Watch this video to learn about the one element that Eagle’s Flight founder Phil Geldart believes should exist in every company culture.
When we ask ourselves what kind of a culture should we want for our organization, we tend to go in a given direction, and I actually have a bias which I'm going to share in a moment with you, but I think the answer to the question begins with what are we in business, or what are we as an organization, committed to doing? There are some organizations that are simply driven to driving profitability through stock transactions, and bond trading, and so on, and their culture is very different from an organization that is committed to providing food relief in Africa, and trying to get shipments of food through very challenging situations. So, one culture does not fit all those different types of environments.
When you say what culture do we aspire to have, it begins with saying but what are we in business to do? What are we trying to achieve? What are the key things that we have to deliver to our shareholders, or our board, or the community at large? And when that is very clear, then you can say what culture do we need in order to guarantee that that happens? And that defines the creation of the culture, and that may not be so easy and you may need to bring in some folks, like Eagles Flight, to help you with that, but the key thing is not to try to create a culture, but try to create a clear picture around the desired outcome and the culture that will support that.
Now, I do have a bias, and that is that almost in every case, your culture should include something around harnessing the potential, and the talent, and the desire of your people to see that organization flourish. We all benefit when the organization and the enterprise is successful, and for that to happen we need our people to be fully engaged, to be fully empowered to contribute to their fullest. So whatever you define your culture to be, I think that is something you should think seriously about ensuring is there and is always a priority.
Phil Geldart, founder and Chief Executive Officer at Eagle’s Flight, is a recognized authority in the areas of transforming organizational culture and leadership development. He pioneered experiential learning in the training and development industry, his company is now a leader in that field. He has created numerous experiential learning programs which are now used around the world and translated into over two dozen languages. Phil is a powerful speaker, author of seven insightful books in areas crucial to performance improvement, such as leadership, teamwork, experiential learning and culture transformation; and he is a recognized thought leader in the area of releasing human potential. Prior to his current leadership role at Eagle’s Flight he was an executive with Nestlé Canada.
About Eagle's Flight
Founded in 1988, Eagle's Flight has earned its reputation as a global leader in the development and delivery of business-relevant, experiential learning programs that achieve specific training objectives and lasting behavior changes.