'Best' Cultures Have Heart and Soul

Leadership is everyone’s job, says CUNA HR/TD Council Conference keynoter.

May 1, 2015
What does it take to create the best organization where the best people do their best work for you and your members? 
Companies that are recognized as the "best" have a purposeful, strategic culture, says author Jackie Freiberg, during Thursday's opening keynote address at the CUNA HR/TD Council Conference in Hollywood, Calif. 
"Culture is a strategic force, a gift you give your people, so your credit union can rise from 'sameness' and become different," she says. "Best" cultures have heart and soul. 
Culture is the "will of the people and the will of your CEO," Freiberg says. Senior leadership has to be committed and involved in your culture—and your employees have to own it, every day. 
Often, middle management can be a barrier, but Freiberg says "you have to find solutions to be strategic, purposeful, and intentional about living out your culture." 
Freiberg refers to an illness among office workers worldwide called MAS (mindless accept syndrome), discussed in a popular TED Talk by David Grady, an information security manager.  
Ask yourself these questions, she says: What have you allowed to be status quo? What has become mindlessly acceptable and is still OK? Are these actions affecting your culture in a negative way? Do you—or your team—have the freedom to see it and change it?
Organizations have to be able to say "no MAS"—and create a culture where people are willing to make changes, she says. 
"Leadership is everyone’s job," Freiberg adds. "It's not a title, it isn’t a position. It's a choice. We're all POIs —People Of Impact."