Tag Archives: Cultural

For Great Ventures – Cementing Your Foundation

We all know by looking at our surrounding housing structures that a foundation is important for any lasting functionality during changing conditions. The foundation is the lowest supporting layer of any physical structure. It is also a supporting layer for any organizational structure. It could be argued that the foundation of an organizational structure is the highest supporting layer!

Several key ingredients go into a strong organizational foundation that will support a great venture. These ingredients include facilitative leadership, true empowerment, a winning culture, and an ownership mentality.

Facilitative Leadership – Passion is one of the essentially elements necessary for great ventures. Without passion, greatness is NOT a possibility. The road to greatness is just too hard without passion fueling the journey. Passion can not be commanded. Thus, a facilitative leadership style is necessary to allow passion to flow throughout the organization. As the organization grows, so too must the capacity of the facilitative leaders. They must understand that their job is to live and inspire the passion in others!

True Empowerment – Empowerment has been a popular term for a few decades now. However, it rarely lives inside an organization in a way that it was originally conceived. Empowerment requires that the empowered individual has an appropriate set of tools and skill sets to solve the problems at hand. It requires active coaching and development to enhance tools, skills, and decision making. It requires boundaries, guidelines, frameworks, and forgiveness to help the empowered individual do their job and grow from the experience.

A Winning Culture – An organizational culture is defined as “the specific collection of values and norms shared by people and groups in an organization that control the way they interact with each other and other stakeholders.” A winning culture is defined by Senn-Delaney as one where:

  • decisions are made unselfishly for the greater good (so you need to know the greater good)
  • individuals and teams are aligned on goals and priorities
  • people walk the talk by living the values of the organization
  • (and thus) people assume best intentions and interact openly with others
  • teams encourage debate and dialogue to arrive at the best decisions and then fully unite behind them
  • people participate fully and understand the shadow they cast

The specific purpose, goals, priorities, and values give the particular winning culture a unique personality. However, the characteristics above are seen across all winning cultures. Zappos.com is a very interesting example of how the above characteristics combine with specific purpose, goals, priorities, and values to create a unique personality. Culture is their number one priority and you can see their personality though their efforts to hire for cultural fit, investment of 5 weeks in training up-front, and their offer to pay new trainees $2,000 to quit.

An Employee Ownership Mentality – With the right culture in place, you can trust your educated employees to act as a vested owner in the business. When individuals understand the boundaries in which they can operate, where the company wants to go, feel empowered with a freedom to decide and act, they most often make the right choices. Also, leadership facilitates continual coaching and development and thus minimizes the impact of incorrect choices. Employees think and act like an “owner” and it enables them to take educated risks to achieve grand goals because they truly understand and embrace the purpose, values, and aligned goals of the organization.

Great ventures do not take the key ingredients of a strong foundation for granted. They cultivate them, plan them, monitor them and manage them so that they remain aligned and flourishing. Great ventures sustain success by maintaining a strong foundation and making sure it does not deteriorate.

© Copyright 2010 Jon L. Iveson, Ph.D.

Exploring Cultural Diversities of Mexico

Experiencing the variety of cultures in Mexico is a treat especially to a tourist. There are car rentals around Mexico supporting the different spots in the country giving a great number of entry points to start. You could enter the different parts of Mexico in and simply rent a car. These car rentals are not necessarily returned where you first started. You could in fact return it on a different place as long as there’s a company’s branch in that area.

From car rentals, there are things that you need to remember if you are travelling Mexico for a cultural experience. With over 62 different languages, Mexico is a melting pot of different cultures packed in one place. If you want placed other than the typical Cancun party living, then you should try exploring these places.

North Mexico is rich in cultural diversity. Using car rentals as your mode of transportation, you could enjoy Sonora for its Ancient mines. These copper mine sites are the ones that cradled the 1910 Mexican Revolution, a turning point in Mexico’s long and rich history.

From the North, you could head to the Northwest and enjoy travel experience with the different ethnic groups. The nomadic fishermen of Guaymas and Desemboque, you are going to enjoy learning form their ways of living. You could also enjoy seeing the wooden sculptures that represented their very own belief in deities living in waters.

From the North, going west you will see a lot of Creole and Mestizo population, something that is evident in this area even during the Spanish occupation. In the west, you get to enjoy the best tequila. If you are curious how this is made, you could observe how the areas of Nayarit, Jalisco and Colima produce the popular drink.

In the highlands, you could see the combination of different beliefs in Michoacan. From the colorful Purepecha to the Morelos and the Guereros, you get to see the mix of cultures that truly diversified Mexico. These cultures have “the Chinelos” or the dance ritual that would be performed during the holy week.

If you are looking to find the remains of the Chichimec, Otomi and Nahuas of Meztitilian cultures, you could head to Eastern central Mexico to see the diversity of people and their cultures. The different cities surrounding the Eastern central Mexico are the pride of the country during the Hispanic era.

Traveling Mexico is a cultural experience. From the US cheap flights to Mexico are available all year round. If you are tired of the usual party atmosphere that you get to experience, car rentals and backpacking are among the most common things that you could do in the country. In fact, what is the point of traveling to Mexico if you are simply going to enjoy the night life? There is already an abundance of nightlife in different countries. But what makes Mexico so unique is the fact that they are composed of different cultures yet they stand as one Mexico.