Organizational culture – is the subject for today. For some businesses it’s obvious and ‘must have’, for other it’s something new and small startups just thinking – what’s this and how to implement new policies. Thus, we’ve addressed this question to #Change It Right! Article&interview series participants.
– when you need to implement, what type of business, business size needs it and how to present new organizational culture policies to your team?
‘Culture is a big word and personally I prefer to use it as an umbrella rather than a state. With umbrella I mean that culture is made of different parts like values, habits, procedures and even tools; they form how we are behaving with our colleagues in our company.
Each organization has a distinct culture and as a leader, it is important to understand the impact of culture on performance and to understand how to influence and change it. And in this context I suggest to focus on routines, behaviors, habits. Attempting to change a culture might be a very ambitious undertaking. The underlying routines are the best lever to influence people’s mindset and therefore the company’s culture.
…Culture is a big word and I prefer to use it as an umbrella rather than a state…
As a company, we want to become more productive, increase the innovation rate and to improve the customer satisfaction; in order to achieve those, we need to look at the processes and policies involved. Routines then manifest how individuals put these in practice. For example, when receiving a customer call, do I first check the segmentation of this customer prior to suggesting specific service levels. When I want to collaborate on a document with my peers, do I send the file as an attachment or do I use a collaborative platform and send a link. When I walk past a machine that makes an unusual sound, do I investigate and call the responsible operator.
The expected routines need to be defined and our employees need to be engaged to fully adopt these – with meaningful reasons, skill development, coaching and measurement. Therefore it is important to not only define the work processes and policies; it is vital to discuss the impact of those on an individual level.
Once the new routines are in place, performance will be improved, the mindset will be transformed and as a result, the organizational culture will shift. This is valid for large enterprises in a same way as it is relevant for small teams and emerging start-ups.’
‘All businesses that are larger than a solo-preneur indeed possess a culture of some kind. As the team grows into an ever-evolving group, it is important to remember that “culture” is affected by each individual belonging to the group. Under typical scenarios, the leader, owner or managing director of an organization imparts her/his “cultural identity” by way of leadership style. If the leader values people over process or product, a specific change readiness will be evident. Should leadership view the HR aspects of the business as a “means to an end” and easily replaceable, esprit de corps and team spirit will be lacking.
…Under typical scenarios, the leader, owner or managing director of an organization imparts her/his “cultural identity”…
In order to implement change in any organization, it is imperative that the readiness for change be present in the team(s) involved. The best organizations that adopt change readiness support and align with HR value-driven firms. Change management therefore becomes more successful when group members believe in the present culture, and that whatever changes being presented will further the cultural direction. People with strong, positive feelings about the company in general and their contribution specifically tend to accept, adopt and support cultural change implementation than those whose cultural environment does not support a strong HR value system; belief in each other as valuable contributors.’
David J Dunworth | CEO Marketing Partners llc | Small Business Marketing Consultancy | USA
‘The most critical case for organizational culture, new principles implementation I’ve seen in one of my clients’ business. When you’re growing from startup and after building bigger business on this basis, you need to think about the organizational culture policies. But you shouldn’t equal yourself to big corporate company culture policies at the very beginning. It looks even funny sometimes, – unfortunately ‘funny’ not always good for your business.
…you shouldn’t equal yourself to big corporate company culture policies at the very beginning…
I’ve seen an article on the Web telling the ugly story ‘how did I destroy my business incorporating company’s culture policies’. Obviously, implementing something new inside reflects everything, it’s one of the difficult change cases, because one incorrect step, word or lack of control can easily destroy your business.’