Culture for Lunch.

As part of our Leadership agenda at next month's Seller Forum, we'll we hosting an interactive discussion called 'Culture Doesn't Just Happen.' With that in mind, I'm reposting a few thoughts on culture from May 2010.

Organizational guru Peter Drucker famously wrote that "Culture eats strategy for breakfast." Our industry as a whole has a big job ahead when it comes to instilling an empowering culture - a task that's equally critical to individual companies and teams. Here are two quick suggestions for any business leader — agency, media owner, service provider, whatever — who's looking to create a winning culture in the digital media, marketing and ad-tech world.

Engagement: When I look into the eyes of young people in our business, I too often see a weary detachment, a sense that this is all temporary. Very few feel a real sense of engagement or belonging to their companies. Read some of Gallup's work in this area ("Engaged Leadership" is a good start) and pay attention: the difference between "I'm a part of this!" and "I'm out of here!" is actually pretty subtle.

Compensation: Think creatively and holistically about compensation; it's very rarely all about dollars and options. Have a conversation with your employees — individually — about the things that would make their lives easier and more enriched. Your support of a personal charity, a non-traditional work schedule, the pursuit of a personal 'big idea' or achievement can be worth far more than the additional cash the marketplace is using to woo your best people away.

Without great culture, great technology or ideas rarely succeed over the long term. The active disruption of staff attrition and the quiet crisis of employee disengagement are too strong of an undertow. Look up from the quarter you're in the middle of and look into the eyes of your team members. An empowering culture is not something that just happens.

If you lead a national or regional digital media sales organization request your invitation to the Fall Seller Forum - "Leadership is Not Optional" — or call us at 802.985.2500 for more details. Two thirds of our available spots are already taken, so save yours today.