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How to Build an Open Culture and Lead It Impactfully

How to Build an Open Culture and Lead It Impactfully - michal-article

One of the most important things a CEO can do is build a corporate culture that provides its employees with psychological safety, an environment in which anyone with an idea feels comfortable sharing that idea with an immediate manager or even the CEO.

When everyone in an organization feels empowered to contribute to its growth, the company and people who comprise it are inspired, engaged, energized, and focused on growth and customer service.

When people feel heard and included, morale improves, and the business thrives.

Open Culture

To create a healthy, open culture requires effort from leadership to empower and inspire the entire organization. Here are three ways to build it:

  • Create an open culture by making time for people, creating accessibility, and encouraging debate. Prioritizing openness and accessibility creates the conditions for healthy communication across all levels of the company, improves morale, and makes the company more resilient and resourceful.
  • Encourage face-to-face conversations that enable people and departments to break down silos. This includes both structured and unstructured meetings. In a one-on-one setting, people are more likely to be honest and forward about their thoughts whether via meetings, calls, or emails.
  • Allow healthy and respectful debate before decisions are made, and respect the decision after it’s made. Let it be known that the debate is over once there’s a decision.

Impactful Leadership

Creating a culture where communication and debate are valued is not my only priority as a leader. Three ideas that guide my leadership are to build with the best, follow core values, and act with integrity:

  • Build with the best people you can find. Leaders and their organizations need to attract and keep talented employees to be competitive. It’s an investment on both sides. Leaders need to be decisive about where employees are best positioned to contribute.
  • Follow your organization’s core values. When these values guide your decisions, you act with a transparency which is appreciated by clients and personnel alike. Leaders who state their values and contradict them do not inspire confidence in employees or clients.
  • Act with integrity. Ensure everyone knows that your word is to be trusted, as a leader and as the voice of the organization. If you sacrifice your core values once, you and the organization both know they stand for nothing.

One note bears mentioning: leaders can’t be too ideological in business. Sometimes compromise is necessary with certain clients or situations. Leaders can compromise without sacrificing integrity. In my experience, during heated negotiations, it can be beneficial to compromise on small issues to build consensus for difficult points.

Build the Road to Success

When leaders make themselves accessible, they set a positive example for their entire organization. When leaders make time for debate, their organizations reach the best decisions, and employees are empowered to share their insights. An open culture includes, inspires, and connects everyone, involving them more deeply in the process of growth.

By creating an open culture, leaders create a momentum that allows them to focus on building their organizations and guiding them to greater success. In turn, leaders guiding with integrity and guided by core values free their organizations to focus on delivering value, achieving goals, and continuing to thrive.

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