Three Things that Destroy Culture

We’ve talked extensively on how to foster the right culture within your organization, including instilling the core values and the four pillars of culture (results, accountability, trust, and engagement), so it’s only natural that the final post within our Culture Series be focused on what can destroy culture.

Many things can destroy culture. Unfortunately, culture is a fragile thing, and must be protected at all costs. In fact, it’s one of the things that can take down an organization from the inside.

Let’s look at the three most damaging things that can tank your culture:


1. Leaders Not Listening to Team Members

You’d be surprised how often leaders choose not to listen to team members, thinking they know what’s best for the organization. Or worse, they think they listen, but don’t. Well, we’ve got news for you: if you act that way, you’re not a true leader. A leader should listen to their team membersthe good, the bad, and the ugly. (If you want to know about true leadership, check out this blog post!) Not everyone can do the same job within a project so there are factors within that project that affect things differently that a leader wouldn’t normally see.

Being there and listening to team members about these types of situations is imperative to protecting your culture:

  • If current processes are not working
  • If people are being overworked or misused
  • If there is a lack of communication in certain areas in the organization
  • If certain team members are not aligned with values or not acknowledging current processes


2. Keeping Someone Misaligned to the Core Values

As reflected in the last bullet point above, just one person could destroy a culture. Especially if they are not…

  1. Aligned with the companies established core values
  2. Providing the results necessary to drive teams forward
  3. Being accountable for the tasks they are given
  4. Engaged in their projects or tasks
  5. Trusted by fellow team members to do their job and do it well

If just one of these things is off-balance, it can cause discord amidst the ranks. It’s critical to dismiss this person if they are damaging the culture everyone has worked so hard to achieve and maintain.


3. A Leader’s Lack of Courage to Make Hard Decisions

Often times leaders don’t get rid of this person simply because it is a hard and unpleasant task. No one likes to be fired, but we assure you, no one likes to do the firing either. It’s upsetting and difficult, but it’s for the best of the organization.

Like Star Trek’s Mr. Spock of the Starship Enterprise says, “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one.” A leader must act in the best interest of the organization, even if it means stepping up and doing something unpleasant. Don’t let something destroy culture at your company.

Making tough calls and sacrifices is part of the job and a leader must possess courage to do what is necessary for the organization. If a leader refuses to acknowledge the problem or simply wishes it away, culture won’t just be impacted, it will disappear completely.


That about wraps up our blog Culture Series. Still have questions on what to do next? Contact Nexecute now to get started!

Just now tuning in to our Culture Series? Catch up on the series with…

Finding the Culture of Your Organization

An Organization’s Core Values Create Culture

Results and Accountability Impact Culture

Engagement & Trust Nurture Culture