Your organization has a set of values and a culture, whether it was engineered or not. Most organizational cultures tend to revolve around the personal values of the founders, even if the company has been around a long time. Young companies tend not to think much about culture because they are too busy focusing on customers and shareholders. As companies' age and the founders retire or die, they tend to do more inward looking and often want to make sure that the values that made them great in the beginning still characterize the company.

Southwest Airlines is one of those rare companies that has maintained it culture of humor, focus on the customer, and efficiency, long after founder Herb Kelleher stepped down as CEO. 3M is also a company that has been through leadership changes, yet stays focused on the core value of innovation.

Most mature companies tend to see a major culture change in a negative direction when the founder steps down. Changing culture and values tends to be gradual and once you realize you've lost the wonderful culture you used to have, it is too late. Although challenging, it is possible to measure culture so you can zero in and fix problems and make adjustments before things go too far south. Organizational culture can be a major asset or a damaging liability that hinders all efforts to grow and become more successful. Measuring and managing it is something few companies do well.