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™:
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.