Learn more about upcoming opportunities to see our programs live

6 Types of Corporate Culture (And Why They Work)



Whether they know it or not, every company has a culture. There are many different types of corporate culture. Some evolve naturally and some are intentional, but all of them fit the same definition. When we look at culture, we are looking at the sum-total of the behaviors of all employees; culture is defined by what the people of the organization do.  Culture is not to be confused with your company mission, vision, and values. The mission of the company sets the direction, whereas culture describes environment around how the mission is achieved, and values define what the culture will be.


So, why do you need to identify your corporate culture? There are a few important reasons:

  • Operate with intention – Understanding both the type of culture you want and the type of culture you currently have will allow you to forge a path to get from Point A to Point B.
  • Uncover gaps – When you evaluate your company culture, it allows you to identify areas that could be improved so you know where and how to take action.
  • Identify opportunities – Similarly, taking the time for self-reflection can potentially highlight opportunities that you might be missing out on.

Examples of Corporate Culture

Just as people from across the globe live in different cultures, so do companies; and in some cases, even divisions within a company can have their own culture. Listed below are a few common corporate cultures you may wish to create at your organization.

1. Empowered Culture

The epitome of an empowered culture is when every individual in your organization feel fully engaged and actively participates in the success of the business. People initiate new activities that will benefit your company, take ownership of their work, and are willingly responsible for the outcomes.

People that thrive in an empowered corporate culture are those that are not afraid to take initiative and exhibit confidence in their decisions. Some of the benefits of fostering this type of culture include:

  • Potential issues are identified and addressed before they become problems
  • Employees feel comfortable coming to superiors with new ideas
  • Individuals are engaged in making the organization better
  • People feel accountable for their actions and take ownership of their ideas

2. Culture of Innovation

In some industries, innovation is highly valued and necessary for the ongoing success of the organization. A culture of innovation focuses not just on coming up with new ideas, but also on following a rigorous process to bring those ideas to fruition.

In a culture of innovation, having a diverse set of personalities will enable ideas to percolate more readily. While some people may be better at the creative elements of innovation, others may be more adept at implementing the processes to bring them to life. The benefits of developing this type of culture in an organization include:

  • A unified commitment to innovation among all members of the organization
  • Competitive advantage in the marketplace through ongoing innovation
  • An environment where everybody feels comfortable communicating their ideas

3. Sales Culture

Creating a sales culture at your organization may signal that there is an underlying impetus to support the activities that generate revenue for your company. For companies with a large sales force, undergoing a culture transformation to focus on sales within that group can make them better able to promote new products and services, approach new markets, develop a sales process that is in line with your company’s values, and use the tools that will help them maximize sales.

The individuals who thrive in a sales culture tend to be focused on delivering the product or service that best meets customers’ needs. Implementing a sales culture at your organization can provide the following benefits:

  • A salesforce that is fully informed about every product and service the company provides
  • A commitment from all teams to support the salesforce as needed
  • Accountability in committing to targets and trying to exceed those expectations

4. Customer-Centric Culture

A customer-centric culture is all about the consumers who buy your company’s products or services. This type of culture permeates your entire organization, including those who have no interactions with customers at all. Employees in a culture of customer centricity are empowered to see everything through the eyes of the customer and to make appropriate decisions based on their observations The benefits of a customer-centric culture include:

  • Company-wide accountability in all aspects of work
  • An increase in customer satisfaction
  • A workforce committed to delivering an exceptional customer experience every time

5. Culture of Leadership Excellence

In a culture of leadership excellence, individuals at every level have confidence that company leaders are committed to continuous improvement. In turn, leaders demonstrate their commitment by participating in ongoing training, leadership development programs, mentoring, and coaching.

In this type of culture, individuals who have natural leadership tendencies will readily rise to the top. Perhaps more importantly, those individuals who have inherent leadership skills but are not aware of them will be recognized and nurtured to fill their natural role. A culture of leadership excellence benefits from:

  • A robust leadership pipeline
  • Better employee retention through internal employee development
  • Strong leaders in every area of the organization

6. Culture of Safety

In industries that involve physical labor, heavy machinery, or hazardous materials, having a culture of safety means that you are committed to protecting the health and well-being of every individual. This includes having certain safety procedures in place, requiring specific behaviors, and ongoing training to ensure that everybody has all the necessary information to perform their job safely.

In a culture of safety, employees inherently protect not just themselves, but also their colleagues. The benefits of a culture of safety include:

  • Fewer incidents and associated cost savings
  • A universal feeling that employee safety is valued by the organization
  • A proactive approach to safety and compliance

It is important to note that each of these types of corporate culture does not necessarily have to stand alone; there can be crossover. For example, you can have an empowered culture that is also committed to customer centricity.

Which type of culture best fits your company? Which culture do you want for your organization? If these two answers don’t align, it’s time to start planning your transformation. Culture transformation is challenging, but it is possible. When done right, you can achieve lasting behavioral changes that will propagate for the life of the company. Are you ready for a change?


Wondering what a partnership with the Eagle's
Flight team could mean for your training and
development goals?

3 Change Management Activities For Leaders

As a leader, it is always important to be present and accessible to the individuals who report to you, and it is more important than ever during a transition in the company. When not handled well, change can be distressing and potentially damaging to morale. On the other hand, if you implement a well thoughtout change management plan, with accompanying activities, you can successfully undergo a transition that leads to long-lasting, positive change.

Leaders are especially important in the success of any change initiative. Regardless of whether the change is small such as a physical modification of the office space, or as large as an organizational culture transformation, individuals will look to leadership for cues. If you exhibit poise and grace under pressure, your team is likely to follow suit. However, if you express concern about the transition, or even worse, seem oblivious to the worries of those around you, others in the company are more likely to feel anxious. Approach the transition with intention and incorporate these change management activities for leaders and you will be well on your way to success.


1. Build Effective Communication Throughout the Process

Effective communication is essential for successful change management. Start an open dialogue as early as possible in the process and continue to provide updates and ask for feedback. Do not assume that people will come to you if they have questions; make it clear that they are not only welcome to do so, but encouraged to actively participate in the process. By communicating the reasons for the change, the projected timeline, how it will impact each individual, and any other relevant details, you not only minimize the disruption, but you also get the buy-in you need for everybody in the company to embrace the new systems or change behavior.

For your change management plan, consider face-to-face communication sessions that start with executive leaders, move down to management teams, and then to individuals. You can:

  • Conduct one-on-one meetings with each of the senior leaders in your organization that foster an honest and straight-forward discussion of the changes.
  • Form small group meetings, led by these senior leaders, throughout the organization. These meetings should share the same information, brainstorm solutions, and implement the new processes.

Remember, individuals will be more likely to embrace change if it’s discussed on a personal level rather than by reading it.

Recommended Change Management Activity

If you’re finding that communication is breaking down, try starting your meetings with a communication-focused team-building activity, based on the improv comedy tenet, “Always say yes.” Take ten minutes to do an improv exercise that helps build communication skills.

  1. Have individuals break into pairs.
  2. One member of the pair starts with a statement and the second person responds with, “Yes and…” The first person continues with another statement and the “Yes and…” cycle continues for five minutes.
  3. After five minutes, the partners switch and do the same exercise starting with a different statement.

This kind of activity works in two ways: first, individuals benefit from practicing communication skills. Second, when leaders are involved, they get insight into the kinds of communication improvements that individuals respond the best to. You strengthen communication and leadership skills – all in one.


2. Create an Environment of Accessibility

Your team should always feel that they can come to you and any other leaders with questions, suggestions, or concerns, particularly when the company is undergoing a transition. Make it easy for them to communicate with you by eliminating the obstacles that make it logistically challenging or intimidating. For example, if you have a busy schedule that leaves limited time for one-on-one conversations with individuals on your team, try these strategies:

  • Set aside a couple hours a week when you have an open door policy so they know they can reach you without disrupting your schedule. Put it in the calendar as “non-touchable” time.
  • Schedule a regular meeting time with team members, giving them the opportunity to speak up when they otherwise might not. Also put it in the calendar as “non-touchable” time.
  • Allow team members to participate in decision making by scheduling a brainstorming meeting where each individual will have an opportunity to voice their ideas or feedback.

Recommended Change Management Activity

If you feel that team members aren’t comfortable coming to you and may be holding back questions about the process, try an activity that both opens you up as a leader and encourages questions from the team.

Use a physical activity to demonstrate the importance of open communication.

  1. Start with everybody in the group blindfolded and have them pass a ball around the room without speaking. The process is slow and the ball can only go to people who are adjacent to each other.
  2. Next, allow them to speak while passing the ball, but still with blindfolds on. Speed increases, but where the ball can be passed is still limited by proximity.
  3. Finally, remove the blindfolds and allow them to pass the ball around the room to anybody they want to.

This exercise demonstrates that when all of the obstacles to communication are removed, the flow of information is dramatically improved.


3. Practice Empathy

Remember: just because the reasons for the change and the process to get there might be crystal clear in your mind, they are not necessarily so obvious to others in the company. Take the time to put yourself in other’s shoes (which will mean stepping out of yours) by using active listening:

  • Prior to implementing the changes, conduct interviews with employees from various levels and functions.
  • Repeat back how you interpret their ideas or feedback by saying: “Please tell me if I’ve got this right. You feel that…”.
  • Avoid weighing in with your opinion during these meetings in order to truly see the changes from their perspective.

Once you have clarity on how the changes will affect others in the company, adjust the change management game plan accordingly. Clearly outline the process and make your communications– whether they are email memos or announcements at staff meetings–concise and and organized. This is especially true if the change involves multiple steps or different categories of activities.

Recommended Change Management Activity

Active listening not cutting it? If you’re not feeling like it’s easy to put yourself in your team members’ shoes, try one of the activities listed above–but you should be a participant, not the leader. Instead of leading through a communication breakdown, you’re experiencing it firsthand. Later, you can better lead through these breakdowns because you’ve recently been on the receiving end.

Even the smallest of changes will inevitably be disruptive to some degree, especially if the stage has not been set properly in advance. Therefore, by employing change management activities like effective communication, being accessible to your team, and looking at the transition from their perspective, you can successfully lead change.


Wondering what a partnership with the Eagle's
Flight team could mean for your training and
development goals?

The Effects a Lack of Executive Alignment Is Having On Your Business

One of the most important components of successful change management is executive alignment. Whether your organization is undergoing a major culture transformation, kicking off a strategic initiative, or involved in a merger or acquisition, having leadership aligned during times of change is critical to your success. So, if you feel your organization is lacking executive alignment, it is important to know the potential effects it may be having on your business so you can take swift action to remedy it:


Corporate Culture Suffers

When alignment among leadership is lacking, there will also be a lack of clarity that will have a negative impact on the company’s culture. When people are left confused or frustrated for too long as a result of misaligned leadership, everyday conversations at the water cooler may quickly turn distracting or destructive to your company’s culture.

The best way to put a stop to this and take steps to repair the culture, is to have leaders collectively wrestle through the tough issues of mission, values, and strategy, and then effectively cascade that clarity throughout the organization. This will provide your organization with a common language, and an agreement on what to do in order to hold each other accountable to the desired culture. Providing this high-quality information will prevent individuals from filling in the blanks themselves with a negative picture of reality.

Leaders and Their Employees Are Uncertain of Expectations

Clarity and alignment begin at the top, and must trickle down to the people leaders and eventually to the individual contributors. If this does not happen, leaders are left on their own to make decisions with the information they have available to them. While they will try to direct their team and individuals, using this information to the best of their ability, neither party can be certain of the right decisions. Unsurprisingly, this leads to mixed messaging, with both employees and leaders getting confused and frustrated about what they are working toward. To overcome this and get change initiatives back on track for success, executive alignment must be achieved.

Your Organization’s Purpose Is Unclear or Undefined

When an organization’s purpose is lived authentically, it will act as a guiding compass for employees and leaders, ultimately dictating the right path forward. If there is no executive alignment on it, the purpose of the organization will be unclear to everyone. This leaves priorities open to interpretation from various vantage points depending on role, level, or department. When this happens, an organization where teams or departments are moving in every direction, rather than in the same direction toward a common goal. All too often this leads to decreased engagement, increased frustration, and a lack of momentum.

Inconsistent and Irregular Communication Causes Confusion

If the communication coming from decision-makers at the top is not open, transparent, and consistent, it may be a sign that there is a problem with executive alignment somewhere in the organization. When leaders are uncertain of the strategic direction, or not aligned with their fellow leaders, this can lead to inconsistent and irregular communication that contributes to the challenges mentioned above. The workforce relies on the communication they receive from the top to make decisions, and to know that what they are doing is in line with the rest of the organization and the change they are aiming to achieve. If this communication changes drastically based on who it is coming from and when, alignment and clarity must be improved.

Next Steps To Achieving Executive Alignment

Executive alignment is always important to organizational growth, but never is this more apparent than during times of major change – which, in today’s world, is more frequent than ever. If executives are aligned on organizational objectives and are committed to a strategy for the change, it will help bring the entire organization onboard. It will help support a corporate culture that promotes accountability and momentum, create clarity around expectations and the organization’s overall purpose, and help ensure that communication is consistent, transparent, and supports the desired outcomes.


Wondering what a partnership with the Eagle's
Flight team could mean for your training and
development goals?

5 Ways to Prepare Your Team for Organizational Change

Change leadership is more than managing changes in company processes or tools; it is leading employees through the waters of change. Because it affects everyone, leading change requires the buy-in and support of all employees impacted by the change. They need to know what to expect, their role in the change, the benefits of changing, and how to react when they encounter change. Unfortunately, as pointed out in an article published by the Association for Talent Development, many organizations struggle to achieve employee buy-in and support for change, for reasons such as employee resistance, inadequate resources, and leadership behavior that doesn’t support change. To effectively lead change, here are a handful of actions you can take to prepare your team.

Share the Vision

Employees need to understand not just that change is coming, but why the change is necessary. Taking the time to craft and communicate a vision for change helps the team to see that the change is a reality and not just words or wishful thinking. Sharing your vision also helps individuals to distinguish between which processes or accountabilities in the organization are changing imminently and which changes are more long-term. A vision can also be a source of inspiration to the team because it helps them visualize how things will look after the change has taken place.

Communicate Frequently

Telling employees that change is coming is informative, but it doesn’t effectively prepare the team for change. People often benefit from hearing messages of change frequently and in different forums so they have ample time to develop a deeper understanding of the change that is coming. Frequent communication in the form of one-on-one conversations, team meetings, and email communications not only helps the team understand upcoming changes, but also improves transparency, gives individuals opportunities to ask questions, and helps to open the door for employees to provide feedback.

Create Opportunities for Two-way Feedback

Communication about upcoming change shouldn’t be one-sided. Two-way feedback that provides individuals with a forum for expressing their concerns gives you the opportunity to add clarity and resolve confusion. It can also help to reduce individuals’ anxiety or fears about change as they learn how their role in the change management efforts will look.

Often, when individuals have a chance to discuss upcoming changes with other members of the team, they begin to see they’re not alone and that their fellow teammates can be a source of support for them. Two-way feedback opportunities, such as in-person or virtual brainstorming sessions, team off-sites, and other group sessions, allow individuals to discuss and resolve shared concerns or areas of confusion. The more people participate in dialogue about the changes that affect them, the more they become personally invested and likely to embrace the changes.

Determine Training Needs

Sometimes, changes are complex and sizeable enough that it’s clear the team doesn’t have the knowledge or skill set to deal with them. In this case, a valuable way to prepare your team for organizational change is to determine what kind of training will help them better cope with change and approach it successfully. Whether it’s leadership development that helps individuals more effectively manage themselves or others or skills development training in the areas of communication skills, teamwork, or time management, you can pinpoint training opportunities that will help individuals more effectively approach change before it happens.

Designate Change Champions

Like many things in the organization, preparing for change is a team effort. Instead of assuming that executive or team leaders are the only ones who can help prepare the team for organizational change, it can be helpful to identify others on the team who can help to drive and champion change. Instead of going it alone, look for those who are excited about the change and embrace the ideal behaviors and actions you want to see in everyone else. These people can then be peer leaders who lead by example and set the tone for embracing change.

In many ways, preparing for organizational change can be just as challenging as dealing with the change itself. With some thoughtful actions that introduce a vision for change and support individuals along the way, it is possible to reduce resistance or confusion about upcoming change. Sometimes people aren’t resistant to change at all; they just need a path and some patience to prepare for it.


Wondering what a partnership with the Eagle's
Flight team could mean for your training and
development goals?

4 Ways to Provide Strong Leadership in Times of Change

Organizational change is inevitable. According to research by Gartner, a typical organization today has undertaken at least five major organizational changes in the past three years. During times of change, effective leadership is especially critical to organizational success. Every organization needs leaders who can successfully navigate the waters of change.

Whether change is driven by shifts in customer demands, increased competition, or the introduction of new technology, organizations must be able to upgrade or re-engineer processes and ensure employees adapt and grow to meet organizational needs. People are at the heart of any effort to bring about organizational change, and they require strong leaders who, through their actions and words, can set the tone for how employees should approach change. Here are four ways to provide strong leadership in times of change:

Set and Communicate the Vision

Whether dealing with one significant change or a climate of continuous change, it’s important to establish and communicate a vision early. The vision for change helps employees understand why change is occurring, what the desired end result is, and how the organization will look once change has been achieved. When people understand the vision, there’s a greater chance of allaying the anxieties they may have about how change will affect them. But establishing the vision doesn’t stop with the initial communication; the vision must then be communicated often, and in different forums, so that employees have many chances to encounter and connect with it.

Model Expected Behaviors

An IBM study found that the top factor reported by organizations for successfully leading change was having leaders who act as role models and communicate the case for change. When leaders model desired behaviors, they show how to develop a positive attitude about change and approach it with confidence. Leaders can model expected behaviors by:

  • Asking thoughtful questions when unclear about how change will impact certain processes
  • Sharing advice and insights with the team about what they’ve learned when undergoing certain kinds of change
  • Displaying a healthy sense of humor, which helps others feel encouraged rather than discouraged
  • Showing a willingness to try new things and adjust processes to accommodate organizational change

Support Employees

Strong leaders are able to support employees who are dealing with fear, confusion, or resistance to change. In fact, when individuals feel supported by their leaders and see that they’re not alone or ignored, they become more receptive to change. Leaders can support employees by:

  • Regularly sharing information about the status, timeline, and impact of change on people and key processes
  • Showing empathy and expressing a desire to understand how change affects each of the people on their team
  • Providing opportunities for employees to share their frustrations, concerns, and successes in dealing with change
  • Providing employees with learning opportunities to adjust their mindset and acquire new skills for managing change

Recognize Successes

Leaders can encourage positive behavior and a healthy attitude about change by recognizing behaviors that demonstrate support of change. There are a variety of ways to recognize employees, including via email, in team meetings, and one on one. During times of change, it can be easy to get caught up in ever-changing activities and processes, but recognizing and celebrating successes along the way helps everyone see the progress made. In addition, by recognizing employee actions taken in support of the change or changes that are occurring, leaders reinforce positive behaviors and show others what they can do to be recognized and rewarded.

To lead change successfully, leaders must communicate the vision for and details of change early and often and show through their actions how to approach change. When leaders remain a constant source of information and support, employees don’t just understand the vision for change; they embrace it.


Wondering what a partnership with the Eagle's
Flight team could mean for your training and
development goals?

The Importance of Delegation for Leadership

Delegation in leadership not only helps get things done, but it also empowers employees by giving them greater autonomy. No leader can do all things at all times, and delegation is a key tool for boosting team and organizational performance and efficiency. A Gallup study found that companies led by CEOs who were strong delegators achieved a higher overall growth rate compared to companies whose CEOs delegated less.

Great leadership has many components, and delegation is an important factor for maximizing employee contributions and increasing productivity among all members of a team. Here are four reasons why delegation is essential for effective leadership.

Frees up Time

Achieving the right balance between the strategic and the tactical is important for any leader to be effective, especially with the many demands on their time and attention. In a survey conducted by the Strategic Thinking Institute, 96 percent of leaders said they lacked time for strategic thinking. When leaders delegate certain tasks to others, they become free to focus on higher-value activities and use their time more productively. Delegation not only gives leaders time for strategic thinking, but it also allows them to focus on other tasks that only they can perform, such as leading and coaching their teams. As outlined in a Harvard Business Review article, one team leader adopted a strategy of delegation and made the shift from simply being busy to being productive.

Encourages the Prioritization of Tasks

Delegation starts with determining which tasks can be delegated and which can’t. Prioritizing tasks helps leaders determine the most critical items to be delegated and who should perform them. One tool for developing a prioritization system for delegation is the Urgent vs. Important Matrix. Using this matrix, leaders can categorize tasks based on their time sensitivity and importance. Tasks or decisions that are less important but urgent, such as responding to a routine request from another team, can probably be delegated. Tasks that are both highly important and urgent might also be candidates for delegation as well, but perhaps to a more experienced member of the team.

Empowers Employees

Delegation empowers employees by enabling them to demonstrate their capability to take on new work. When individuals step outside of their typical day-to-day activities and have the chance to take on new tasks or get involved in decision-making, they become more invested in the outcome of their delegated responsibilities. Delegation helps people recognize their importance to the team, which fosters a deeper sense of commitment and engagement. Leaders can build a sense of empowerment among employees by delegating in areas such as:

  • Project management—ask a member of the team to write the first draft of a project proposal.
  • Client relations—select a member of the sales team to gather client data and background reading ahead of a client meeting.
  • New system implementation—pick a couple of employees to test drive a new system and report back to the team with their findings.

Supports New Skill Development

Delegation builds new skills among team leaders and their direct reports. It gets newer leaders into a rhythm of accepting responsibility for outcomes without feeling that they must take on every single task themselves. When leaders learn how to delegate effectively, they are building competency in setting expectations, providing feedback, and ensuring accountability in others. For individuals who have responsibilities delegated to them, they have opportunities to learn a new process or interact with team members they might not deal with normally. These new experiences help them build skills in areas such as project management, teamwork, and communication.

Delegation involves more than just doling out tasks to other members of the team. Effective leaders carefully consider what to delegate and to whom, and understand how delegation makes their team more effective. Leadership development is a great way to teach leaders how to leverage delegation for improved productivity, empowered employees, and skill-building.



Wondering what a partnership with the Eagle's
Flight team could mean for your training and
development goals?

© 2024 Eagle’s Flight | Website Developed by GrayCyan.com