Chapter 30The Ideal Cultural PortraitConsistent in, Mediocre Out

The Challenge

Inconsistency, the failure to take responsibility, and the tolerance of mediocrity devastates culture. Despite this, leaders often major in all three offenses: They do the right things when it's easy, cheap, popular or convenient; they fall into the blame game as described in our last chapter; and they are prone to rationalize, trivialize, sanitize, and compromise with what is mediocre, rather than deal with it. As our cultural portrait continues, this chapter will discuss the importance of weaving in consistency as it relates to your cultural foundation, while revitalizing or removing—pruning—what is mediocre. Both disciplines are essential parts of getting the culture right and the primary responsibilities of leadership.

Why Organizations Fail to Reach Their Potential

While appearing on MSNBC's show Your Business, I was asked if I believed that the number one reason why organizations didn't reach their fullest potential was because they failed to change. I replied that although failing to change was a common reason, my experience had shown that the top reason organizations fall short of their potential is chronic inconsistency. They would in fact change but then not stick with it. Then, they would try another initiative, change again, but fail to follow through. This brings us to our third cultural concept that must be weaved into culture:

Consistent: “Constantly adhering to the same principles, ...

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