For Better Performance Build a Contribution Culture

Group Speaking For most of human history, the typical organization had a Compliance Culture (C1). The leader's job was to get people to do certain things using whatever means possible. The followers' jobs were to do what they were told to do. Compliance cultures have some merit. But they also have two huge shortcomings: people have to be watched and whipped (sometimes literally) to comply, and that kind of constant enforcement is costly. Worse, people tend to do the minimum to get by.

In the early 20th century, some people proposed another approach: the Cooperation Culture (C2). Their idea was to take some of the resources spent on enforcement and use it to encourage people to willingly comply -- or cooperate. For the most part, it was a great leap forward. But the leadership task didn't change: the manager's job was still to get other people to do what he or she wanted them to do.

In the mid-20th century, Peter Drucker and other leadership gurus noticed that some organizations were performing way better than other similar organizations. They decided to look more closely to find out why. What they discovered is what we call the Contribution Culture (C3). In this type of culture, the leadership task changes.. Rather than just getting from followers what the leader wants, the leader seeks to get everything that each person has to offer -- and to grow their capacity to contribute more in the days ahead. C3 Cultures make ongoing human development part of their organizational purpose.

At the peak of organizational performance is the Communion Culture (C4). In this culture we see a complete unity of purpose and effort. Everybody is on the same team all the time. Unfortunately, we don't see such a culture very often. Usually we notice it only after a great victory or huge success. That's when everyone identifies with and celebrates the group's achievement without regard for their particular role in it -- because somehow the whole is greater than the sum of its part. Such moments are sweet but usually fleeting in this life.

Nevertheless,you'll find such C4 moments more often in organizations characterized by their C3 Contribution Cultures. And the secret to developing and maintaining a C3 Contribution Culture is effective leadership -- selfless, mission centered Jesus-like Leadership.

Commit to becoming a better leader. Learn how to do it with us. And watch the organizational culture you're in improve as you grow. You can do it. We can help you.