Culture: Consistency – Agreement

by Ron Potter

Agreement that leads to commitment is a long, arduous process.  It requires building great teams that listen to each other, respect each other and use a great process to reach agreement.  Agreement leads to commitment which leads to better execution.  This commitment happens in the face of initial positions that may be counter to the final agreement.  Reaching agreement is hard work.

Culture Elements

Items that the Denison Culture Survey asks about include:

  • win-win solutions
  • consensus or agreement is reached on difficult issues
  • while the process may be long and arduous, it’s always easy to reach agreement in the end
  • is the agreement in line with the core values
Intact Teams

These questions are focused on teams that work together.  We’ll look at building coordination and integration across the corporation in the next blog post.  But coordination across the organization never happens if we aren’t able to reach agreement within teams first.

Agreement and commitment were the subjects of a series of blogs that I wrote in the first half of 2019 on building great teams.


Reaching agreement within teams requires a great deal of respect for each member of the team.  Good leaders should expect that each member of a team has either a slight or dramatic different point of view.   This diversity of thought is what leads to great decisions.  But only if there is respect within the team for each person’s point of view.  If there is an element of right and wrong or someone believes they know the “truth” while everyone else simply has a different perspective, a true agreement cannot be reached.

Culture Survey

The culture survey does a great job at pointing out the symptoms of agreement or disagreement.  It doesn’t actually help us solve the problem but clearly identifies if a problem exists.  If the culture survey indicates there is a lack of agreement, that should serve as a big red flag that lots of internal work is required to build up the respect and processes of teams.

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