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What culture are you creating?

I read in the papers a few years ago about a story of mum and a little girl. They were walking past a doctor’s surgery and the little girl tripped and fell over gashing her forehead on the brick wall around the surgery.

Being outside the surgery, the traumatised mum picked the girl up rushed into the surgery and was met by a receptionist who said, “I am really sorry but we can’t treat you here because you are not registered.”

How can that happen?

The poor lady and the little girl had to run up the street for over a mile to get to their own GP service to get one of the nurses to treat the facial wound, and as you know facial wounds bleed an awful lot.

So I wonder how this has happened?

I can imagine in a Practice meeting that the manager has said to the staff, “If no one is registered you cannot treat them.”

The tragedy is if we create an over controlled and over managed environment people stop thinking.

Many organisations are stuck in management and strategy and play this out with over control. 

Let me share another story that I heard René Carayol talk about in one of his leadership conferences. It was about a lady who was trapped in a building that had collapsed. She had her phone with her and managed to press last number redial. The phone call was to a bank. Within three rings she was talking to a human being. 

The lady shared that she was trapped and was losing consciousness and could they put her through to her husband and also her children. The operator sprang into action and whilst keeping the lady talking to keep her conscious she arranged for one of her colleagues to contact her husband and one of her other colleagues to contact her children and the third operator to contact the emergency services. The lady was eventually rescued and reunited with her husband and children – a lovely happy ending. 

How did that happen?

The leaders of the organisation had created the right culture.

Your role as a leader is to create the right culture. You don’t create a good culture by over managing and controlling everything – that is when people stop thinking and do stupid things.

You do it by creating a high performance environment where success is inevitable and allowing people to think and perform. 

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Questions for you to think about: 

What culture are you creating?

Are you stopping people from thinking and performing? 

What could you do differently?

About the author

Graham Wilson

Graham Wilson

I enjoy and specialise in teaching leadership skills, how to create winning strategies, how to build high performance cultures. Outcomes and results are the most important measures for me!