How Should A Business Balance Culture And Results

Alignment: The Cornerstone of Organizational Culture

Recently, I was asked, “How should a business balance culture and results?” I found the question interesting because it implies that culture and performance are at odds with each other and therefore need to be balanced. The answer, however, doesn’t lie in balance, it lies in alignment. A company’s culture should support the attainment of its results, not conflict with it.

What is Culture?

Culture, in its essence, is the soul of an organization. It encapsulates the norms, behaviors, mindsets, attitudes, and relationships that define how people interact within the company. When aligned with the vision, mission, strategy, and goals of the organization, culture becomes a force that propels individuals and teams toward common objectives. Even beyond alignment on objectives, when leadership routinely recognizes and celebrates the achievement of the objectives, the culture becomes one of performance and results.

A Culture of Ownership

One of the most powerful attributes of culture that aligns individuals and teams for action and results is that of Ownership. As we teach at Echelon Front, Ownership transcends mere responsibility; it is a transformational mindset of leadership that embodies self-accountability, humility, action, and initiative. When Ownership becomes ingrained in an organization’s culture, every individual within the company takes personal responsibility for the success and failure of the entire team. This mindset empowers employees to proactively identify challenges, propose solutions, and execute with diligence and determination, which all support delivering results for the business as well.

A Culture of Decentralized Command

Central to the concept of Ownership is Decentralized Command, a principle that distributes decision-making authority throughout the organization. By entrusting employees with autonomy and accountability, decentralized command fosters a culture where individuals feel empowered to act decisively in pursuit of common goals. This not only cultivates a sense of trust and camaraderie among team members but also accelerates decision-making and action.

A Culture of Teamwork

Moreover, Ownership extends beyond individual contributions to encompass collective efforts and teamwork. In an Ownership-driven culture, collaboration and synergy are paramount. Teams and departments operate cohesively, leveraging each member’s strengths and expertise to achieve shared objectives. This collaborative spirit not only enhances productivity but also fosters a sense of belonging and mutual support within the organization.

The Importance of Relationships in Culture

Relationships are another cornerstone of a strong organizational culture rooted in Ownership and commitment to achieving results. Instead of complaining, individuals take Ownership of improving and strengthening their relationships within a company, they forge meaningful connections based on trust, respect, listening, and mutual understanding. These relationships form the bedrock of effective communication and collaboration, enabling teams to navigate challenges and capitalize on opportunities with agility and confidence.

The Importance of Trust in Culture

Trust, too, is fundamental to a culture of Ownership. When employees feel trusted and empowered to make decisions, they are more likely to feel connected to and committed to their team, their leaders, and their mission. Trust fosters transparency, openness, and accountability, creating an environment where individuals can express their ideas, voice their concerns, make decisions, and contribute to the collective success of the company.


In conclusion, fostering an overarching culture of Ownership that includes teamwork, relationships, decentralized command, and action ensures that the powerful force of culture is aligned with delivering results rather than competing with it. This culture aligns with the company’s vision, mission, and goals and empowers employees to unleash their potential and deliver sustained success and growth.

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