In my consulting and coaching work, there is one question I regularly ask, and it is, “What messages do you hope to send to those with whom you work?” Why this question? Because it helps me assess whether the messages line up with the culture and then determine what kinds of behaviors those messages encourage in others.
I have witnessed all too often where an organizational culture does not align with what the leaders say they want to create. I have talked too often with those who say they just can’t get their team members to share new ideas or be more creative. I hear from leaders who lament having a great vision with no one to help them realize it. And I listen to front-line supervisors and employees complain about how they can’t affect change in their organizations because either management won’t listen, or the powers that be don’t welcome contrary viewpoints