Chain of Success™

After 25 years in leadership roles with organizations such as Southwest Airlines, JetBlue Airways, DoubleTree Hotels, and Juniper Networks, Ann Rhoades is a leading expert on building values-based organizations. Rhoades has proven that when implemented correctly, this kind of corporate culture not only creates a great work environment for employees but also increases all other performance measures.

During a TEDx talk on organizational cultures she explains how leadership drives culture, which drives performance:

Chain of Success™

I do admire her passion and acknowledge her experience, but I find it hard to believe that culture drives performance, despite the research by Kotter & Heskett*. Because we know from scientific research in Malaysia that culture drives employee commitment, which in turn drives performance. And from research by Gallup, that engagement drives performance.

So I took the liberty to rewrite the sequence that was shown in the video above to create, what I call, the Chain of Success™:ROUNDMAP_Chain_Of-Success

Indeed, leaders drive corporate values. This then drives corporate behavior, while we know managerial behavior drives the firm’s culture. However, contrary to Ann Rhoades, research has shown that culture drives commitment: without commitment to the firm’s goals employee performance will be determined by – and therefore limited to – individual values and behavior. Their commitment to the firm’s goals, drive employee engagement, which as described by Gallup, leads to a significantly higher performance, which then leads to long-term success.

(*) Research by Kotter & Heskett focused on how adaptive cultures performed, relative to non-adaptive cultures.

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