Five Ways to Build An Exceptional Culture


If you want to see the central nervous system of any organization, take a look at its culture.

It doesn’t matter what type of organization you want to talk about…whether it’s a sandwich shop, surgeon’s office or synagogue.

Culture is the core.

Culture drives decisions…dictates attitudes…reinforces behaviors…and ultimately determines how high the organization flies.

If you want to have a great organization, you need a great culture.

But what makes a culture great?

What’s the difference between a run-of-the-mill company and a company that has what I call The WOW Factor?

Five Traits of WOW Factor Cultures

Great organizations have these things in common:

They’re purpose-driven. Truly great companies are motivated by something bigger than profit.

Companies like TOMS shoes, Warby Parker and Whole Foods are built around making a difference…in addition to selling lots of product.

They’re great communicators. WOW Factor companies have open lines of communication inside and outside the walls of the office.

They share ideas and information…even bad news…as fast and as directly as possible.

How big a deal is communication?

Harvard Business Review called poor communication the “silent killer” of big companies…and linked it to epic harm in companies like Nokia, Enron and BP.

They’re hungry to learn. WOW Factor companies are constantly coaching, training and evaluating.

They know the skills and resources they have today aren’t enough to compete in tomorrow’s marketplace…and in response, they commit themselves to steady improvement.

And it pays off.

Studies show companies that embrace learning have more productive workers, happier customers and lower costs than companies that don’t.

They’re focused on results. Top-notch organizations put a huge amount of emphasis on delivering excellent results.

There are several benefits to focusing on results.

The most obvious benefit of focusing on results is this: the organization outperforms its peers in consistency and quality, which makes customers happy.

Beyond that, companies that focus on results benefit from employees who are more engaged, more loyal and have higher morale than their competitors.

They insist on accountability. Great organizations set goals for accomplishing their work…and create consequences for falling short of the goal.

WOW Factor companies enjoy the benefits of accountability, including increased commitment from employees and higher skill development.

If you work in a great organization, I’ll bet you see all five of these forces…PURPOSE, COMMUNICATION, LEARNING, RESULTS, ACCOUNTABILITY…flowing through your office.

If you work in an organization that struggles…can you pinpoint where your group needs to improve?

Remember, culture is the core.

You can’t build an exceptional business on the back of a so-so culture.


I train leaders to build exceptional cultures.

Want to talk about the culture where you work?

Email me HERE and let’s set up a phone chat.

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