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From our experience, the culture of an organization is really the behaviors and traits of the senior leaders. We have never had to do a detailed or lengthy assessment to discern a company’s or division’s culture – I just watch leadership behaviors for a short time, since they set the sphere of acceptable behaviors and traits. You cannot impose or mandate a culture that opposes the basic beliefs and behaviors of the leader(s), and especially the most senior leadership.

Consider the following continuum: Beliefs -> Behaviors -> Habits -> Character -> Culture -> Destiny. In other words, sow beliefs and you reap behaviors; sow behaviors and you reap habits; and so on. The only effective and lasting way to change a culture is to go back and change basic belief sets of the leaders. That often requires a change in leadership, or at least a significant emotional event in the leader that challenges their currently held belief set.

By Bob Rockwell and Kelly Thurman


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