It has been said that “Bad Culture Eats Vision“. I’ve learned that to be true. No matter how strong a vision is if the culture is bad the outcomes are going to be disappointing. As a result, an organization isn’t going to be as effective as it could be.
Working with churches I observed some outcomes of bad culture. In fact, these were obvious from an outside view.
Some terrible outcomes from a really bad culture:
Corruption – Bad cultures corrupt the organization – specifically the organizational structure. As one example, often in an attempt to avoid toxic leaders, people work around the structure to find the answers they are seeking. Which makes leaders frustrated further perpetuating the bad culture.
Control – Bad cultures are often the product of controlling leadership. Therefore, the organization’s growth is capped. The best assets – people – are limited from contributing to their full potential.
Confusion – Bad cultures notoriously have poor team communication. People only know what they know so they invent their own stories. Their version is almost always a worse version of reality.
Collision – The vision is something people get excited about accomplishing. They are willing to work hard in order to help it become a reality. Yet, bad cultures collide with good vision. The culture becomes the focus of people’s attention rather than the vision. As a result, progress is derailed.
Curtails – Bad cultures usually discourage risk-taking. Failure is criticized, rather than being seen as part of the learning curve. This causes future momentum to stall. People aren’t willing to take new risks or try something new.
Contaminates – Good team members are soon sucked into the habits of bad culture. Before long they become part of the problem.
Condemn – Bad culture condemns a team to a state of mediocrity. Therefore, no one is satisfied with the results.
As leaders, part of our job is to make organizations better. However, many times, the culture produces unhealthiness and holds the team back from growing. In these settings, it is the culture that frustrates people and causes burnout.
Do you want to improve an organization’s effectiveness?
Most likely, you’ll first need to improve the organization’s culture.
If you think if I can help you or your team I would be happy to talk with you. You find more about my experience here: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ronedmondson/