The fire watchers of culture

Herb Kelleher talking about the culture committee's importance at Southwest

Southwest Airlines have a Managing Director Culture who leads the Culture Services Teams responsible for recognition, appreciation, and celebration of Southwest's more than 50,000 Employees. The role supports Culture initiatives across the system, providing guidance to Southwest's Company wide Culture Committee, and leading the charge to foster ownership of the Southwest Culture within a continually growing employee base. 

I really like this quote from Herb Kelleher as it sums up how important culture is in a company.

"Before people knew how to make fire, there was a fire watcher. Cave dwellers may have found a tree hit by lightning and brought fire back to the cave. Somebody had to make sure it kept going because if it went out, there was no telling when another tree would be hit by lightning. And so, the fire watcher was the most important person in the tribe. I said in our culture committee, "You are our fire watchers, who make sure the fire does not go out. I think you'r our most important committee at Southwest Airlines."

Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends 2016

12% of executives believe their companies are driving the right culture and 72% say they don't understand their culture

Company values & the associated expected behaviours

A list of company values is important, but that's only the outer layer of the onion