Aligning Behavior with a High-Performing Culture

David Friedman, Founder and CEO of CultureWise ( and the author of Fundamentally Different, has designed a powerful process to institutionalize a culture within an organization. 

In his Fundamentals System™, culture is defined in terms of the specific behaviors that a leader wants to see taking place every day in his or her organization. Ask yourself:

“As a leader, am I being intentional and systematic in defining the behaviors that reinforce the values required to support the mission of my organization?” 

As a leader, it is essential that you intentionally and systematically initiate a high-performing culture in your organization by:   

  • Communicating the desired culture throughout the organization 
  • Coaching to reinforce the culture 
  • Leading by example 
  • Driving culture through accountability 

8 steps

Friedman’s 8-step framework is the secret sauce.  As you can see from the visual, the core of the program is defining the behaviors (fundamentals) that drive success and establishing rituals. 

To put it simply, rituals are patterns of behavior that are repeated over and over again until they become second nature.  If you want your stakeholders (employees) to internalize the behaviors that you know will lead to success, these behaviors have to be talked about, taught, coached, and practiced with repetition over a period of time.  And given all the distractions facing virtually every organization, the best way to achieve this repetition is through the creation of rituals.  Rituals are the key to embedding behaviors as habits. 

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