Organizational Culture (OC) is born out of an organization’s values, philosophies and actions. In other words, The OC Equation™:

Values + Philosophies X Actions = OC

You can tell a lot about an organization by their corporate values and philosophies, in other words, their written constitution. That piece of paper that outwardly defines who their employees are and the standards by which they abide. Writing it down is important, but what creates a competitive advantage is actually living those values and philosophies through every daily action and interaction. Your organization’s actions are what make it real – your actions are also what engages employees and turns them from a warm body filling a slot to a dedicated, loyal business partner.

Chris Kyle of American Sniper fame was a dedicated Navy SEAL who was willing to sacrifice everything to protect this country and our fighting men and women. And as a Navy SEAL he lived by the SEAL Code: A Warrior Creed. The SEAL Code was “officially” created just a few years ago. Prior to this, the SEALs had an unspoken code defined by their culture, historical experience and training. “Leave no man behind” and “failure is not an option” are examples of cultural mantras that evolved as the unwritten “SEAL code” from the Teams battlefield experiences in WWII, Korea, Vietnam and elsewhere. “We have held to this code, never leaving a teammate in the field, dead or alive.” Recent experience in Afghanistan with Medal of Honor winner LT Murphy and his teammates, depicted in the book Lone Survivor as told by Marcus Lutrell, the lone survivor of the ill-fated mission Operation Red Wings exemplifies this code of conduct.

The culture of the SEALs is so strong they are willing to do whatever it takes to uphold the philosophy of the SEALs and prove themselves worthy of wearing the Trident in honor of past and future generations.

Is your OC strong enough to get your employees to commit to past and future generations?

Consider these questions for your organization: “What are your employees committed to?” “Are they willing to go above and beyond to ensure your organization’s success and in doing so uphold your organization’s values and philosophies?” “What is your organization committed to?” “What does your organization and your employees VALUE?” “Do the actions of your leaders and every employee in your organization reinforce your commitment to your values and philosophies or are your values wishy-washy – coming and going with the wind and profitability?”

If you have employees rather than partners, it may be time to consider doing something different that will create your ONLY true, sustainable competitive advantage – your OC.

The [“Official”] SEAL Code:

In times of war or uncertainty there is a special breed of warrior ready to answer our Nation’s call. A common man with uncommon desire to succeed. Forged by adversity, he stands alongside America’s finest special operations forces to serve his country, the American people, and protect their way of life. I am that man.

– Cindy

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