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Every effective leader is striving to create the best workplace culture they can – because that is the key to exceptional and sustainable results. 

Authenticity is all about defining you’re your ideal workplace culture looks like and then aligning the things that an organisation, and its people, do, say, think and decide with that ideal.

We very rarely have the opportunity to create a workplace culture from the ground up. We usually inherit a culture and then go about a process of shaping it to make it fit with the ideal culture we want for the organisation.

What is workplace culture?

  • Theoretical models talk about culture as being shared beliefs, norms and expectations that govern the way people act – the way they go about their work, the way they conduct themselves, the way they interact with each other
  • At a practical level, we consider culture to be the sum of every decision made in your organisation by everyone, every day
  • These are not the big leadership and board decisions – these are the micro decisions that each person makes dozens of times each day
  • Those micro choices are shaped by the norms and expectations – so the theoretical and practical models are connected
  • If we want to shape culture, we have to help people make different choices or decisions – and we do that by working on the shared norms and expectations 

How does culture work?

  • Authenticity is about aligning the ‘things you do’ with the culture you want to have 
  • In reality, they are aligned with the culture you actually have – which is how that culture was created
  • One mistake organisations make is to look at the outcomes (through customer satisfaction or staff engagement surveys) and work on those – when really they are the result not the cause 

What can you do about workplace culture?

  • Start working on realigning the things people do, say, think and decide to make the consistent with the workplace culture you are striving to create
  • That should occur at four levels
  • Authentic Organisations have systems, processes and rules that are consistent with the workplace culture you are trying to create’
  • Authentic Leaders have the ability to grow people and use effective leadership styles and strategies that promote accountability and value people
  • Authentic Teams are robust and engage in honest conversations. They deal with issues, collaborate and commit to common goals
  • Authentic Contributors are engaged, motivated, self-reflect and hold themselves to high standards on their tasks and in their interactions

Thanks to our guest on this episode Kirralea Walkerden – Director of Operations at The Real Learning Experience, and in future episodes co-host of this show. You can connect with Kirralea at The Real Learning Experience or via LinkedIn here.


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