All organisations have a culture — some more intentional than others. The biggest difference between the two is that organisations with intentional, high-performance cultures are able to create powerful alignment for high performance and execution that achieves results. Indeed this is the very purpose of culture development: to drive performance and results. While skeptics may see culture as a fluffy luxury, intentional development establishes trust, accountability and alignment to common goals. In other words, intentional culture development is the foundation for how organisations conduct business.


This foundation is made up of three key elements: Purpose, values and strategic vision.

1. Purpose: A simple phrase that states the core of what the organisation hopes to achieve. For example, “Delivering Happiness” is the cornerstone of the Zappos customer service philosophy and the representatives are empowered to “deliver happiness” to customers. As a result, Zappos has one of the highest NPS scores in the online services industry, according to a recent Satmatrix customer experience Benchmark Report.


2. Values: These are brief affirmations about what the organisation believes to be important. Stated values are essentially a manifesto for how the organisation conducts business. They set the baseline for establishing trust and accountability among colleagues. Values-based cultures are often successful because of the strong alignment to core beliefs, resulting in highly engaged and productive employees.


3. Strategic Vision: The strategic vision articulates a long range goal for the direction of the company. Sales and marketing automation software provider, Infusionsoft calls its strategic vision the “Everest Mission.” Not only does it clearly state the company’s long-term goal, the Everest Mission is used as an alignment tool, to generate purposeful productivity within the organisation.


The power behind these foundational elements of organisational culture is really in the defining of high-performance culture. They serve as a declaration of what the organisation does, how it goes about its business and establishes a code of conduct. In the end, it is the culture of an organisation that will determine how it treats those it serves and its employees — and ultimately, how the product or service is delivered.