A great place to work is a place where you feel like you "fit in". But what does that mean?
From being children we learn to fit in to groups by adapting our behaviour from those we perceive as having authority. Those with such authority might be our parents, a sibling, a classmate, or a teacher - depending on the situation. In this context a person's authority is not their position, it is their capacity to influence the behaviour of others, no matter their position or status.
As we mature we continually enhance and adapt the nuances of our behaviour to fit in. We feel unsafe and insecure whenever we experience that feeling of being an outsider. It is natural to fear isolation and exclusion, so we do our best to avoid it.
At first we learn to fit in with our family members, then we learn to adapt to fit in with our classmates and teachers, and then we adapt further to fit in to our workplace.
This is what culture is - the understood norms of behaviour that enable us to fit in. It's the 'way things are done around here'.
At every stage, we identify those with 'cultural authority'. We do it subconsciously. The cultural authorities are those that influence through leadership (good or bad) the behaviours that are acceptable in each situation.
LEADERSHIP - CREATING CULTURAL AUTHORITIES
We have observed and experienced that in the best places to work there is a highly effective established way of doing things. Every person seems to fit in, even despite varying personalities, experience levels, and backgrounds. Everyone knows the desired objectives, and their part in 'the way things are done around here'.
These work places consistently exceed the performance of others, because their leaders have consciously created the rules and protocols, which are mostly unwritten, and they have given clarity of how people can act and interact within them.
Conversely, the work places where people are unsure of how to fit in are where we see dysfunction, gossip, disruption, and low morale.
The great places to work are those where people fit in, because the leaders have consciously created, communicated, and encouraged an established way of doing things. They've clarified the standards of work ethic, behaviour, and values. Those leaders have made it clear of what it means to fit in, and they constantly develop others to guide and encourage the established way, so that everyone can safely and fully contribute to achieving the desired objectives.
The H Factor is designed to build on the capability of leaders to establish their cultural authority for their team. It is created from an evidence based model that results in practical actions for leaders to build on their natural abilities.
H Agents write about the joys and challenges of entrepreneurship and managing people.