Industry Today Volume 22 Issue 2

louder than words. If you want to be innovative but shut down any idea that doesn’t come from the in-group, well, you’ve just undermined that culture. 4. Fourth, reward people who embody the behavior you want. The single strongest mes- sage a leader sends is who gets promoted—and that applies to promotions at all levels, not just at the top. Don’t promote jerks, no matter how good their numbers look. 5. Finally, measure it. Employee engagement scores, customer satisfaction numbers—these can tell you if things are going right. But you want to go deeper. Understand the different types of corporate culture outlined in our study, and work with your team to develop some metrics specific to your company. All these things—developing a vision, mis- sion, and values; communicating them; mod- eling them; rewarding them; and tracking— become increasingly important as a company grows. When you’ve got departments and layers—when you have multiple locations or P&Ls—you should spend more time on culture. That’s why the leaders of the fastest growing companies pay so much attention to culture. Culture—the invisible person in the room— is the spirit shaping the way people relate to each other and the decisions they make. As a leader, it’s your job to make sure that invisible person acts in ways that help your company perform at its best. Read the full report from the National Center for the Middle Market at ports/power-of-culture INDUSTRY TODAY 17 FEATURE - NATIONAL CENTER FOR THE MIDDLE MARKET (NCMM)