In this solo episode of Success That Lasts, Jared Siegel continues discussing the effect of organizational culture on performance, and why it’s important for business leaders and stakeholders to be proactive about cultivating the right culture at their companies. He talks about how leaders can use total motivation to encourage the high-performing culture they desire at work.

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Here are a few highlights:

  • “Good is the enemy of great,” Jared quotes. In an ironic twist, it has been shown that good business performance can lead to cultural complacency. Often, culture is a category that is both core ideology and something that needs to evolve. It can be difficult to simultaneously juggle the preservation and progress of culture, but it is not impossible.
  • Jared shares several definitions of culture and gives examples of corporate leaders taking action to shape the high-performing culture they desired in their companies. “Culture, like the organizations that create them, must evolve to meet new challenges,” he remarks. “All cultures are aspirational. The point isn’t to be perfect; just better than you were yesterday… Culture begins with deciding what you value most.”
  • According to the book Primed to Perform, there is a spectrum of motives for why people perform an activity. The first three are directly linked to the activity that drives performance, referred to as a direct motive. The last three, or indirect motives, are further removed from the actual work itself and frequently harm performance.
  • “Inertia is the most indirect motive; your motivation for working is so distant from the work itself that you can no longer say where it actually comes from,” Jared explains. “You do what you do simply because you did it yesterday. That leads to the worst performance of all.”