Routinely I have the wonderful opportunity to cross paths with former students of mine who participated in the From Vision to Action Leadership Training. When we sit down and visit, I often ask them “What have you been learning recently?” And nine times out of ten, they will will respond, “I have realized, Geery, that it is all about the culture.” I just burst out in a huge smile and reply “Yes, it is.”
As Ron Heiftz, Alexander Grashow, and Marty Linsky in their book, The Practice of Adaptive Leadership: Tools and Tactics for Changing Your Organization and the World (Harvard Business Press, 2009) explain, “Fostering an adaptive culture will enable your organization or community to meet an ongoing series of adaptive challenges into the future, a future that is almost guaranteed in our day to keep pitching new challenges toward us.”
The above authors explain that there are five distinguishing characteristics of an adaptive culture. They are as follows:
- Elephants on the table are named.
- Responsibility for the organization is shared.
- Independent judgement is expected.
- Leadership capacity is developed.
- Reflection and continuous learning are institutionalized.
This week, analyze your organization’s culture or your team’s culture, and determine whether or not you are building the right culture for today and for the future.