Culture Eats Strategy For Breakfast
Yes, it has been Peter Drucker's mantra for a very long time. Culture can destroy anything and everything you want to build in an organization.
So...if that's the case, how do you address culture?
Step One - every opportunity you get, hire for the culture you want. Need a more positive spin? Want to infuse a work ethic that is about student-centered and student-focused decision making? Hire those who best represent what you are searching for.
Step Two - honor those whose behaviors are headed in the direction you are moving the organization. If you're trying to break down walls and silos, focus on those who embody teamwork and collaboration. Likewise, reset expectations with those who, along the way, are about self and not about team.
Step Three - celebrate the work ethic you expect while holding those accountable who are not pulling their weight.
Maybe a better way to say that one is - hold accountable those who are not doing their jobs, as team members know who they are. While they might not say it, most team members are resentful of those who skate by and don't do their jobs or pull their weight. Not holding those individuals accountable results in an undermining of a strong, focused culture.
Step Four - negativity needs to be minimized. Watch carefully and listen closely. Those who are negative are obvious. And they can be toxic. To change the culture, especially in a school district, it becomes imperative that those who are negative need to be isolated and coached up or out. Perhaps they have never been told they are negative or have a toxic affect on others. Those conversations are critical. Because, if it was you, wouldn't you want to know?
Do what you can to stop the culture killers and move your school district forward. It won't happen overnight, but the efforts are worth it to students.