Cultivating Culture

Take deliberate action

You will never change an organization’s culture just by telling employees that the culture needs to change. You must do something — take deliberate action. Develop processes collaboratively by inviting input from all stakeholders. Make real changes and communicate them — not just once, but repeatedly and consistently. It’s every team member’s job to “walk the talk” and commit to building a great enterprise.

A values-based culture

To lead a nonprofit through changing times, remember why the organization exists and what it stands for. Be conscious of the culture that you want and use every opportunity to create and nurture it.


Culture Matters. It's your core organizational asset and establishes whether your nonprofit is just good or if it becomes great.

Conversation Starter

Cultivating Culture

A complete set of conversation starters to accompany the chapter.


Cultivating Culture Toolkit

A complete set of tools to accompany the chapter.

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8 Practical Insights for Nonprofit Leaders


Culture matters. It’s a core organizational asset.


Respecting and trusting your people is the foundation of all good management.


Always listen for and even seek out signs of trouble. Bad news is good news if you do something about it.


Develop “court sense” to see everything that’s happening around you, and to rapidly adjust to changes.


Commit to doing “the whole job.” Investing in organizational capacity contributes to excellence and impact.


With limited time and resources, it’s essential to prioritize and then focus.


Planning is essential but success comes from the implementation of your ideas. “Book It and Ship It.” Make a decision and manage the consequences.


To create a culture of accountability, reinforce individual ownership of problems. Always ask, “Who owns the monkey?”