How to Create a Growth Culture

Comments Off on How to Create a Growth Culture
How to Create a Growth Culture LoadingADD TO FAVORITES

Here’s the dilemma: In a competitive, complex, and volatile business environment, companies need more from their employees than ever.  But, as management expert Tony Schwartz reminds us in the May-June 2018 Harvard Business Review, the same forces rocking businesses are also overwhelming employees, driving up their fears, and compromising their capacity.

It’s no wonder that so many C-Suite leaders are focused on how to build “high performance cultures.”  The irony is that building a culture focused on performance 

may not be the best, healthiest, or most sustainable way to fuel results.  Instead, it may be more effective to focus on creating a culture of growth.

As Schwartz observes, a culture is simply the collection of beliefs on which people build their behavior.  Learning organizations, originally defined by Peter Senge, classically focus on intellectually oriented issues such as knowledge and expertise. That’s plainly critical, but a true growthculture also focuses on deeper issues connected to how people feel, and how they behave as a result.  In a growth culture, people

  • Build their capacity to see through blind spots;
  • Acknowledge insecurities and shortcomings rather than unconsciously acting them out; and
  • Spend less energy defending their personal value so they have more energy available to create external value.
  • In a growthculture how people feel, and how they make other people feel, becomes as important as how much they know.

This approach is based on the groundbreaking work of Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey into building “deliberately developmental cultures.”  Building a growth culture requires a blend of four individual and organizational components:

  1. An environment that feels safe, fueled first by top leaders willing to role model vulnerability and take personal responsibility for their shortcomings and missteps.
  2. A focus on continuous learningthrough inquiry, curiosity and transparency, in place of judgment, certainty and self-protection.
  3. Time-limited, manageable experimentswith new behaviors in order to test our unconscious assumption that changing the status quo is dangerous and likely to have negative consequences. And,
  4. Continuous feedback—...

    To continue reading, become a paid subscriber for full access.
    Already a Business Briefings subscriber? Login for full access now.

Subscribe for as low as $135/year

  • Get 12 months of Business Briefings that will impact your business and your life
  • Gain access to the entire Business Briefings Research Library
  • Optional Business Briefings monthly CDs in addition to your On-Line access
  • If you do not like what you see, you can cancel anytime and receive a 100% pro-rata refund