Before we dive further into Jason’s statement, let’s first define the word “culture,” a bit more. In his article for the Harvard Business Review, Tim Schwartz (President and CEO of The Energy Project and author of The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working) defines culture as “simply the collection of beliefs upon which people build their behavior.” This sounds easy enough; however, Tim goes on to draw a distinction between cultures based on performance and cultures based on growth. The research shows that cultures based on growth make for more sustainable organizations, and in order for sustainable cultural growth to occur “a sense of community that makes people feel safe needs to be created through virtues such as accountability, transparency, and support.”
The mistake companies too often make is focusing solely on the “easy” part of what makes a culture, a baseline knowledge of the business, while ignoring the deeper issues of community and shared beliefs that ultimately drive behavior. Tim’s summarized conclusion is that the collection of beliefs that make up your company’s culture must be built with not only shared knowledge, but also with a connection to how people feel and behave, and a sense of community that people feel safe to contribute to and be a part of.
So, as previously mentioned, Jason believes maintaining culture is one of the biggest obstacles to growth. If you are a brewery, distillery, or winery interested in growth, then you must evaluate and be aware of the importance of your organization’s culture. You must take the time to ensure that your culture is built on a focused combination of all the research factors: knowledge and expertise, connection to how people feel and behave, and a sense of community. By ingraining all these factors within the framework of your organization you create space for cultural growth, which in turn drives the behavior that supports business growth. Ultimately, you should view culture as the proverbial “why” that motivates your reps in the market to be a contributing part of your overall success.