Creating ‘Cultural Architects’ to implement your business strategy

By Anita Jaynes on 5 February, 2014

The Winning (formula)® has identified a subset of individuals that are vital in creating an engaged workforce who are fully behind your plans for growth.  They are called the ‘Cultural Architects’.

The Cultural Architects can be thought of as the leaders without authority within your business and are the outstanding individuals who influence, motivate and engage others on a daily basis.

These people are self-motivated to perform at their best and are always keen to help the company in any way that they can. They exert influence over their colleagues through trust and respect and take it upon themselves to carry out tasks above and beyond what is expected of them.

These individuals exist in all companies and I’m sure that just by giving you a brief description of who they are, you can identify with people in your own organisation who are clearly of this type.

Those who are already Cultural Architects are your first recruits in your campaign to get the company to back your plans for growth. Involving them closely in all of your plans and getting their buy-in is crucial if they are to exert their influence on the rest of the organisation.

It’s important that you hold regular meetings with them, where you, as the business leaders, have the opportunity to discuss your plans and ideas and gain feedback from them as to whether they think they are viable or not. There is a lot to be learned during these conversations and they act as a vital link between those who create the strategy and those who will implement it.

Here are some of the many responsibilities that the Cultural Architects will have:

  • Gather information and offer direct feedback to managers and leaders in the organisation.
  • Act as an initial ‘sounding board’ for senior managers to test new ideas and untried initiatives.
  • Operate as an ‘employee temperature gauge’, judging the current levels of motivation, communication and engagement.
  • Encourage others to play a part and make a contribution on the business growth journey.

Once those who are already Cultural Architects have been identified, it is then crucial to recruit as many other employees as you can to join their ranks. The higher the percentage of Architects you have, the higher the levels of engagement and the faster you will grow.

Once other employees see the level of involvement and influence that the Cultural Architects now have within the organisation, the more attractive being an Architect will become. How you become one is something that the senior management team must decide and more than likely will form part of a regular appraisal process. However you choose to do it, the aim is to recruit as many Architects as you can, as quickly as possible.

As well as Cultural Architects, all organisations have a small percentage of what we call ‘Cultural Assassins’. These are the people who have a negative attitude to both their colleagues and the business as a whole and will push back against the changes that you will inevitably have to make on your growth journey.

Cultural Assassins can do a great deal of harm and can potentially derail your ambitious plans if they are allowed to thrive. This is where the Architects again play a vital role. As you build your army of Architects it will become more and more difficult for the Assassins to exert their influence until eventually they will either have to change their ways or will leave the company of their own choice.

It’s important to focus on the creation of as many Architects as possible rather than the elimination of Assassins, as this will happen naturally over time.

The nurturing of Cultural Architects is one of the key initiatives you must take to get everybody behind your strategy. Without their support you’re unlikely to be able to implement your plans, therefore it is worth investing the time and effort to bring on board these influential people.

Can you easily identify the Architects and Assassins in your business and have you got a strategy to harness the Architects power to drive the business forward?  What percentage of Architects and Assassins do you have in your business?

To learn more about Cultural Architects and how you can create a practical strategy that translates into high-performance and accelerated growth contact Steve Medd.

Steve Medd is a Business Growth Specialist at the winning (formula)® helping leaders and senior managers implement strategies that engage the whole organisation and drive accelerated growth. For more information call 01793 915045, email or visit