Most organizations and leaders understand that company culture influences business results. Though this is common knowledge, what isn’t well known is how to best manage and shape the company culture to improve results.

As with most business functions, models and systems are often developed to help leaders and organizations achieve desired results. These models or systems impact behavior and allow a company to systematically obtain an anticipated outcome. What if there was such a model for shaping and creating a strong company culture?

Though effective company cultures come in many different forms, there is a model that leaders or organizations can follow to shape, manage, and improve their company culture. I call it The Four C’s Model to Creating a Healthy Organizational Culture.



At the base of the model is clarity. Establishing organizational clarity around purpose, vision, values, and objectives has a unifying effect that is impossible to replicate without it. When people in an organization are clear on the purpose, vision, values, and objectives, it creates an environment of understanding, shared responsibility, and alignment. Clarity helps remove uncertainty and confusion that hinders so many organizations. Creating clarity throughout the organization is the first step in building a healthy organizational culture.


Next comes consistency. Without establishing some level of norms and values to play by that are consistently followed, talked about, and upheld, a culture can lose its way. Amidst the myriad of changes that are constantly taking place within most organizations, maintaining consistency in terms of approach, leadership, and behaviors goes a long way in creating an environment of stability and security. Behavioral misalignment or being inconsistent with what you say and what you do, is one of the most common ways a company culture languishes. Improving consistency helps reinforce clarity and is the next step to building a healthy organizational culture.


Once clarity and consistency are well established, celebration should become a focal point and common practice. Celebration is about recognition and fun. Work life becomes much more enjoyable when people are consistently recognized for their efforts, when good behavior and results are rewarded, and when an element of fun exists at work.  A company that can’t have fun, and that doesn’t constantly recognize good performance will always struggle to produce a strong culture. Thus, celebration is the next step in the model.


Finally, an organization must be infused with charity. Charity is a feeling of being cared about and known at work. When people perceive they are just a number or that no one really knows them or cares about them much at work, it makes it hard to truly commit to the organization. The best organizations and leaders that are able to create the strongest cultures find ways to show they care. And this can’t be faked or contrived. People will know whether a leader or organization truly does care, so it must be sincere. When feelings of charity exist within an organization, it influences and magnifies all the efforts around the other elements of the model. Clarity, consistency, and celebration become much more meaningful when done with charity.

Shaping, managing, and improving company culture need not be elusive for leaders and organizations that embrace and implement The Four C’s Model to Creating a Healthy Organizational Culture. The more clarity, consistency, celebration, and charity is established within an organization, the healthier the culture will become.

Tim Burningham is an experienced executive and author of “Be An Awesome Boss!” which takes a closer look at The Four C’s Model to Creating a Healthy Organizational Culture.

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