Environment: Unwritten Ground Rules

Calum MacRae Feb 12, 2020

Your environment doesn’t start and stop with your culture, it also includes: 

  • How your team operates as a whole
  • How your individual team members operate
  • Your vision
  • The attitude of the leaders
  • The attitude of the team
  • The tools / equipment used
  • Your suppliers
  • Your technology


As a leader, looking inwards can be challenging but, to fully understand your environment, it is vital that you are honest with yourself. 

What business environment do you provide? Do you:

  • Foster a culture that supports and focuses on the vision of the organisation?
  • Seek out examples of innovation to empower others? Or seek to blame?
  • Celebrate success and growth? Or nurture excuses?
  • Support? Or bully?
  • Ask questions and try to understand? Or tell and seek to be understood?

Chances are if you are not providing a positive and effective environment, you will have issues with the Unwritten Ground Rules.

The Unwritten Ground Rules are probably the most telling indicators of your environment.

The Unwritten Ground Rules (UGRs) are what happens when the leader isn’t there to oversee behaviour. If your team is there to succeed, they will behave as professionally when no one is watching as they do when they are being observed.

Sometimes these may differ:

If you are concerned about the Unwritten Ground Rules within your business, think about the environment you are providing. You may need to reassess your desired culture and the way it is communicated and acted upon in your company.

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