It is all too common to walk into a room with any team and for them to be confused about where they actually are. They might be very excited to talk about where they’re going and what Point Z is going to look like, but they aren’t totally honest about where Point A is. When I ask them the state of their team or their company, I might get five or ten different descriptions on the map.
So it’s critical to allow time for these simple but foundational questions:
- Where are we as a team, partnership, or company right now?
- What do we do well right now?
- What are our current strengths and where are we winning?
- What are the largest obstacles and challenges we face?
- What is the baggage we are carrying and what is it keeping us from accomplishing?
- What are the opportunities that are before us, based on where we stand right now?
Before we know where we are, we can’t chart an effective course for where we’re trying to go. The first step in setting the temperature for the culture you want to create is assessing the current temperature right where you are.
Culture change doesn’t start “out there.” It isn’t someone else’s problem to solve. Culture change starts “in here” with all involved. It begins with calibrating our own thermostats (collectively and personally) to make sure we know where Point A truly is.
Jason Barger is the globally celebrated author of Step Back from the Baggage Claim, ReMember, and the newly released book Thermostat Cultures, as well as a coveted keynote speaker and leadership consultant. More importantly, he’s striving to be an above average father, husband, and friend.
Follow me on Twitter @JasonVBarger.
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