Build a winning organizational culture

One of my earliest jobs was working for a construction company as a “gofer,” which was slang for being the employee who would go-for whatever, whenever and wherever something needed to be done.

No task was too small, large, far away, or difficult. Even though I was young and inexperienced, I had already developed a strong work ethic with a desire to learn and to get things done.

Every time I met with my boss to report what I had accomplished, he would tell me how poorly I had performed. He would say things like, “We never do it that way” or “You should have done this first and that last” and so on.

Unfortunately, there was never a hint of training offered that might have given me an opportunity to succeed. One day I asked him, “Is there a company manual that explains these things so that I can do a better job at meeting your expectations?”

His answer seemed to say it all: “A manual for what? I don’t know what you’ve done wrong — until you do it!” I consider that experience to be an early precursor to my eventual appreciation for how inspirational leadership is essential to the existence of a winning organizational culture.

So, as you begin to plan for the future growth of your organization, consider these three often overlooked — yet critically important — key considerations that will focus your leadership team on predicting the future you want.

Planning for growth is one thing, but achieving that growth can only happen with a plan that includes everything necessary to succeed.

1. Improve your process. Try to:

Adopt a training process that delivers a knowledgeable, motivated and inspired workforce.

Adopt a strategic thought process that improves decision making, with the goal of creating accountable and empowered problem solvers.

Adopt a review process that will deliver continuous incremental improvements, which will lead to the ongoing discovery of your organization’s best practices.

2. Empower your people. Work at:

Developing high performance teamwork.

Pre-planning for crisis management.

Expecting everyone to visualize their goals.

3. Transform your culture. It helps to:

Review your mission statement to ensure it reflects — in a meaningful way — your organization’s core purpose.

Review your value statements to ensure that they reflect what each member of your different work divisions must follow to reach successful outcomes.

Tom Pandola is co-founder of Third Alarm, providing leadership training, team building, coaching and consulting. Visit or call 530.308.2434 for more information.


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