“The Leader’s Guide to Corporate Culture,” an article in the Harvard Business Review, states that “strategy and culture are among the primary levers at top leaders’ disposal in their never-ending quest to maintain organizational viability and effectiveness.” At Northcentral University, we view culture as answering “why” and “how,” which sets strategy. The why at NCU is always our students. The how is where our culture becomes especially important. Our culture, our “how,” is based on eight principles.
- Everyone has a seat at the table.
- The best ideas win—regardless.
- Diverse people and opinions are essential to good decisions.
- Contrary opinions are encouraged until the decision is made and execution begins.
- Recognize the difference between input and feedback. Seek input early in the process.
- Answer the “unintended consequences” question.
- Risk is good, but if it’s a failure, fail quickly.
- Credit goes to the team, failure I own.
I believe these principles are why we have steady double-digit growth, great educational outcomes, and very low faculty and staff turnover. Protecting and nurturing culture is an ongoing commitment, something we remind ourselves of daily at NCU.