The Most Successful Companies Embrace the Promise of their Culture

Cultural intelligence means being intelligent enough to create a workplace culture that gives positive direction for your organisation and its people. In fact, a strong workplace culture makes it easier for an organisation to stay focused, define its goals, and deliver on those goals. Cultural intelligence is especially valuable during times of uncertainty and change. Cultural intelligence is not only about acknowledging, understanding and being aware of the authentic nuances represented in one’s cultural background. In today’s marketplace, cultural intelligence exists when a company trusts itself enough to live the promise of its culture in how its brands communicate with its audience and consistently delivers on that promise in the recruitment, retention and development of its employees.

Don’t you know right away when someone fits in your workplace culture? Your gut tells you instinctively when those around you stand for the same values you do – or they don’t.
That’s how the most progressive organisations sustain their market leadership position: they never stray away from their culture promise and are quick to make adjustments along the way to accommodate the changing needs of their employees, consumers and the marketplace.
If I asked you to list some of the most successful brands in today’s marketplace, their cultural promise can be defined in a few words. It’s not about a lot of empty phrases and meaningless vision statements; it’s about practicing what you preach.
Here are just a few examples:
  • Nike = Just do it
  • Apple = Innovation
  • McDonalds = Diversity
  • Facebook = Community-minded
  • Southwest Airlines = Fun-loving
  • Target = Family-oriented value
Did you notice something else about these companies? Their brands became symbolic after their cultural promise successfully endures through several business cycles. First, their logos represent symbols of reliability, trust and quality. Second, their consumers associate these brands as contributors to their lifestyles. They are iconic. In fact, these logos are so powerful, they don’t even have to include the brand names they were born with. Finally, these brands stand for something that is greater than themselves, beyond their core business, that symbolises their relentless dedication for the advancement of society and the consumers the serve.
As you reflect upon the cultural promise of your organisation and yourself, there is one more thing that is embedded in the success of these brands: they seek to be significant. Your cultural promise defines your significance factor. The more your organisation dedicates itself to the promise of the culture you are trying to create, the more your people and brand look to be not only successful, but also significant.
Organisations like this become more resilient, take greater risks and are not scared to fail during times of uncertainty and change.   They push the envelope in pursuit of innovation with their entrepreneurial spirit. They are passionate about what they stand for to create new possibilities. They create a family environment that is focused on giving, sharing and making those around them better.
The strength of an organisation’s cultural promise is rooted in its business model, decision-making and strategies. Like in life, there are temptations to sway from your core beliefs. The ones that stay true to their cultural promise will succeed, and endure.


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