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  • Writer's pictureTerry Dockery

Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast (Part 2)

Your Core Values determine your culture, and, to a large degree, your culture determines the performance of your team. How so? 

Leaders often fall prey to The Fundamental Attribution Error (Ross, 1977); i.e., they under attribute the quality of a team member's performance to the limitations of the environment they are in. For example, calling someone "lazy" when they are underpaid and underappreciated. 

You can't blame people for maximizing their outcomes/getting the best deal they can for themselves and their families in the situation they are in. If team members feel underpaid and underappreciated, they will balance the scales and maximize their outcomes by caring less and working less. 

This is Social Equity Theory (Adams, 1963) in action. Leaders who quip that "the world isn't fair" are mostly wrong. Fairness is a human concept controlled by humans, and a leader has the power to make their organization fair by paying people fairly and treating them with respect. In this way their "world" is fair whereas another leader's world may not be. 

If a leader builds a culture in which people feel treated fairly, then that leader has built an environment in which good performance guided by good values leads to individual success; i.e. a meritocracy.

If you have competent team members with individual values that match your organization's Core Values of a fair meritocracy, then those team members will succeed individually for themselves and their families while they ensure that your organization is financially successful for a long time to come. 

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