http://enviableworkplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Company-Culture-Elements.jpgI was at an event the other night where I met a CEO. In the midst of sharing what we each do for a living, his response to my business was, “We have a mission statement, a vision, and goals,” said with a confidence that was intended to mean he had the perfect company!

Having been faced with this response many times, I knew what it actually meant—his company is in or approaching serious trouble and either he doesn’t know it or he is in denial about it. Or on rare occasion it means that the company is currently going through the process of re/defining their mission, values and goals. The question is which one is it?

A bit of poking around revealed the truth (to me). His situation is what I call, Snowflake Syndrome in my book. It’s where the company or in this case senior leadership thinks their company is perfect because on paper it says so. They have all of the touchy-feely stuff on paper, the numbers are decent but not exceptional, and there are no major red flags, but the company remains stagnant regardless of what they do. They usually have a higher than they would like turnover, unhappy customers and employees, and there is distrust with leadership.

While senior management may be aware of some of these issues, they usually are not aware of all of them which ends up meaning that they are viewing the company and making decisions ultimately wearing rose-colored glasses. As we all know, wearing rose-colored glasses gets us no-where anytime soon.

So how did I know this was the case? Simple, because when a company is aware of their culture and is active with growing and nurturing it you don’t hear senior leadership talk about “the words on paper” or the employees laughing at “the words on the wall.” Having a mission, vision and goals are great, but when they only reside as words and not actions, it’s a waste of time, money and efficiency.

I challenge you to remove the rose-colored glasses you may be looking through and get to the root of these questions. If you need help, call me, I will get you the results you need—what is emphasized in your company? What does senior leadership focus on? What are your customers really saying? How is their feedback incorporated into action? What are your employees really saying? What is done to improve the company? How is accountability handled? How are results determined?