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