The Ingredients of a Winning Culture

One of my favorite definitions of culture: what employees do when they don’t think anybody is watching.

Ingredients of a Winning Culture

Two O’s, two E’s, and three C’s make for a winning culture — one that’s robust and resilient enough to not only survive, but also thrive in crisis.

The First O: An Owner’s Mindset.

A firm foundation is an owner’s mindset. Managers, supervisors, and employees who behave like owners treat every customer as the boss. They work cooperatively and seamlessly with others, and they watch every dollar coming in and going out as if it were their own.

The Second O: Openness.

Open-minded to new ideas from anyone, anywhere, anytime. Open to learn from another’s idea about how to improve the product, service, or operation. Open to the needs and wants of customers first and foremost, but also the needs of coworkers, partners, and other important stakeholders.

The Two E’s: Engaged and executing to deliver the results that will achieve the goal.

In study after study, the first key to employee performance and satisfaction is engagement. And, unfortunately, the number and percentage of employees who say they are really engaged — full on and focused on the job at hand — is much lower than the boss believes. Engagement, of course, is also the first critical step for building a strong customer following, as well as essential for attracting the right investors for your small business and the best donors for your nonprofit. How will you build engagement at your company or your nonprofit?

The Three C’s: Connected, Collaborating, Committed

Three C’s round out the adaptable, flexible, resilient, and disciplined organization needed to navigate through crises and come out as strong as or stronger than you went in.

So — what now? Talk to me. Tell me about your business, and tell us about the challenges you’re facing. Let us help you. Send me an email at

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Former CEO of P&G, president of The Bay Park Conservancy and most recently founder of Leading To Win, a publication dedicated to helping entrepreneurs & SMBs.