One of my favourite quotes about culture comes from an author called Michael Henderson.  Henderson is an anthropologist who works within the corporate US. The quote is –
“people ask me why culture is the new thing in business. I tell them actually, business is the new thing in culture.”
Managing and transforming your culture might be new for you, but culture is something that’s been influencing lives in and out of work since the dawn of time.
Henderson’s book “Above the Line” is a good read. It’s a term you’ve probably heard before. Working above the line. So I wanted to briefly touch on it here. It’s a simple concept that helps your people to understand what you want them to do in addition to what you don’t want them to do.
Working above the line means that your culture is going to be on track to create success and high performance in your business. Leaders who stay above the line create highly effective teams delivering great outcomes for their clients.
Leaders that teach their teams to work above the line have increased customer outcomes and loyalty.
Above the line behaviours include:
  • Open to change/ideas
  • Curious and courageous
  • Learn continually
  • Listen and seek to understand
  • Seek and provide feedback
  • Question their beliefs
  • Help others to best their best
  • Creative/innovative
  • Seek solutions
  • Find better ways
  • Are accountable
  • growth mindset
Below the line behaviours include:
  • Become defensive
  • Closed to new ideas
  • Need to be right
  • Don’t share knowledge
  • Avoid risk/conflict
  • Find fault and obstacles
  • Ignore/deny
  • Do nothing
  • Wait for others to act
  • Make excuses
  • fixed mindset
Clearly you could add more and more to these lists, but my advice is always to keep it simple. When introducing something new it’s better to go less than more. You can add words as you get further into your transformation program.
PS: there are the behaviours that don’t even make the list – eg: bullying, harassment, discrimination, and violence – there is no tolerance for this behaviour at any time. Get rid of it from your workplace through deliberate action.
Watch this video to learn more.
Your transformation journey needn’t be a cumbersome afraid. Start with simple concepts like this and build on them.
Author: Michelle Holland.