For job seekers evaluating a company, the guiding principles, as well as how these are used in business decisions, speak volumes about a prospective employer. Said another way, for you to “fit” a company’s culture, you must both understand these values and their importance to culture.
The reason for this is that skills can be taught, culture can’t. For a culture to be real, every team member must be aligned with the culture and guiding principles. Because of our commitment to Career3 and specifically to promoting from within, we needed to define a value specific to knowledge acquisition. The founding leaders of Share On Purpose asked ourselves a bold question: How would we build a “learning organization” in an uncertain, rapidly changing world? And, how would we grow our management team so they led with these values consistently? Ultimately, we wanted to know how to strengthen our culture as we expanded.
There are many things I’ve learned from the Millennial generation, but what resonated about their learning style was what I termed “just in time knowledge.” Millennials are quick to learn and incredibly resourceful knowledge seekers. They don’t learn because they are told to, or because they want to accumulate knowledge, they learn to apply the knowledge to enhance their lives or grow their careers. Novel concept, I know.
The principle we adopted regarding training and mentoring, with the help of our initial team members was “New Knowledge – Learn it as you need it.” Knowledge is (and always has been) power, which is why college degrees became a necessary management criterion in the Baby Boomer era. The problem with the accumulation of knowledge today is that our world is changing so fast that most skills are outdated less than a year after they are learned.
For our guiding principles to resonate with the way future generations learn, we had to rethink all traditional training models, and embrace the “just in time” learning modality. That meant defining the value, New Knowledge, and rethinking the Career Matrix to introduce management skills as leaders evolved their careers. It also meant investing in the Share School Online Leadership Training Portal to make the training available when emerging leaders needed it, rather than when we wanted to teach it. This resulted in a culture where leaders embrace the notion that to truly evolve our talent, we work on their leadership evolution timeline, rather than training them to fit our needs.
There are many things that contribute to building a performance culture, but one of the most important is to use a defined set of values so that business decisions are aligned with the culture; and then to embed these values into all facets of the organization, especially training. Without guiding principles, decision-making can erode culture.
Remember, skills can be taught, but culture can’t.
If this sounds like an organization you’d like to be a part of, view our available positions and apply now.