If You Don’t Get Culture Right, Nothing Else Matters”
That was said by John Taft, CEO of RBC Wealth Management, in a recent Smart Brief Interview on the importance of culture. He continued:
Culture is everything when it comes to responsible, long-term business success… A leader’s job is to discover, communicate and reinforce culture.”
While leaders regularly pore over financial, operations, marketing and sales reports, they generally pay less attention analyzing their organization’s culture. But they should!
Because as Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric says, “Culture Drives Results.”
What Is Culture? It’s Like an Iceberg!
We know from the Titanic that only the top of the iceberg was visible; the larger portion was underneath the water and invisible yet had great impact – it brought the Titanic down!
So, the visible aspects of culture (the 10%) are what we see on the surface: For example, the company logo, symbols, how space is used, the way people dress or the way they talk.
The not so visible, elements of culture (the 90%) are the values (what’s important, what we care about) and the norms (the ways people are expected to act). They impact the organization in three things:
Establishes an identity – people feel connected and committed.
Aligns everyone’s behavior so that they’re rowing in the same direction.
Provides the basis for making the right decisions and taking the right actions.
Essentially, it is what’s below the water line that drives the organization to success or failure.
Why Is Culture Important?
In a Deloitte Consulting study, 98% of executives and 88% of employees believe workplace culture is important to business success. Companies, with a strong culture, outperform companies with weak cultures because:
- Their reputation as a great place to work will attract and retains great talent.
- People who have a shared purpose work better together and achieve more.
- Greater customer satisfaction will lead to better retention and referrals.
What’s Your Culture?
[bctt tweet=”Culture is not putting nice sounding words on a piece of paper and posting it on the walls. ” username=”bizmastersglobal”]
Or trying to imitate or copy another company’s culture. Much of culture is played out in the day-to-day interactions between employees and their managers and between customers with you and your staff. It gets built one day at time, one interaction after interaction.
To Find Out Get Feedback:
At your next staff, team or board meeting ask:
- If you had to describe what it’s like to work here, what would you tell someone?
- If you could change one thing to make your job easier, what would it be?
- What kind of a person succeeds here? Fails here?
Also, talk with your customers and suppliers and find out:
- What is it like to do business with us? Are we easy or difficult to work with?
- If you could change one thing to have a better experience, what would it be?
- Do we exceed, meet or disappoint your expectations? How can we improve?
Were there surprises? Are there areas that you need to work on? What are some changes you will make to create a different experience for both your employees and customers?
[su_box title=”SMART MOVES TIP” style=”glass” box_color=”#2f598a”]Much of culture is played out in the day-to-day interactions between employees and their managers and between customers with your staff. Leaders who want to get results, need must realize is that their actions –what they do or don’t do influences the perception of the company’s culture both inside and outside the company Such interactions shape beliefs about “how we do things around here.” These beliefs, in turn, drive people’s actions, which collectively produce results.[/su_box]
What’s the culture of your company or organization? How do your leaders lead? Is everyone aware of “how we do things around here?” I would like to hear your thoughts about the role culture plays in organizations.
My Motto Is:
If you do what you always did, you will get what you always got. Therefore, MOVE outside of your comfort zone; that’s where the MAGIC happens.” To bring that magic to your leadership and business, subscribe to Marcia’s monthly Execubrief: Business Edge- Smart Growth Strategies with insights, inspiration and intelligence on how to build great businesses that matter- those that do well and do good.
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