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Culture exists everywhere we look. Nations have cultures, generations have a culture, people groups of all sorts have their own distinct culture.
So if culture exists it makes perfect sense for all those in leadership no matter what our background, to be deliberate in creating a culture that wins, a culture that creates predictable effective results. Whether it is Business, Ministry, Family or our own personal life, Culture exists to be defined and redefined.
One particular leader in history understood this with clarity and had a brilliant plan to produce his desired culture. His name was Nebuchadnezzer and the beginning of his story can be found in the Bible in the book of Daniel 1:3-5. In these passages we read that Nebuchadnezzar who had besieged Jerusalem had a plan to change the culture of the nation of Israel. He knew that if he was going to lead or rule these people he would have to create a culture shift and he outlines his plan. A plan we can learn from today.
Firstly he identifies a particular type of person that he wants to influence. He sends out his envoys to find the intelligent, the good looking, the motivated. His assumption was that if you can influence the influencers then you can shape the culture of a nation. This is still true today whether on a national level or corporate level.
He then gives strict instructions on what to do with the elite that he had chosen. He begins to give them training, his own food which is symbolic of his words or direct input and his own wine which characterises his spirit or his culture and essence. He makes three year commitment to achieve this culture shift.
So what can we learn from Nebuchadnezzer when it comes to shifting or creating a culture. Firstly that it takes time, he devoted three years to the process. It will take you and I time and effort to create our desired culture. Secondly he gave them his personal word and spirit. He didn’t train them remotely or through an assistant. Developing culture should always come from the senior leader or manager. Finally he chose a particular group of influencers to go on the journey with him. He understood that if he could change them then everyone else would follow.
Creating culture is always about leadership.