The quick culture diagnostic

October 28, 2014

Sure you can do assessments, polling the whole organization, tracking it over time. But there’s a quick test you can use to determine if you’re in a company with a strong culture.

When people speak about the the company, do they use the word “we” or do they use the word “they?” When it’s “we,” clearly there’s a feeling of ownership, pride, and connection.  With “they” there is a distance, a separation.

The feeling of “we” can be more powerful than you know. Tommy Lasorda said the greatest compliment he received from a player was from Kirk Gibson after the 1988 World Series win.  Even though he had recently come from the Tigers, Gibson said, “I feel like I’ve been a Dodger my whole life.”

If you’re interviewing for a job, or consulting at a company, this can be very telling.

If you’re a leader, I hope you understand that you can’t make people say “we.” It comes naturally when people are co-creating the culture.