It was really fantastic working with you last week at the UTI Conference. I hope the time we spent together was of real value to you. My objective was to assist you to make dynamic decisions and to support you, to start the process of consciously designing a corporate culture, which will help you to achieve the results or organizational outcomes you want.
I am sending you a short outline and a few carefully crafted questions, to support you to start the process of creating the perfect corportate strategy to guide you and your team, to achieve the results you want.
Manage the Culture within your Organisation or it will manage your Organisation without You
Unless you are going to consciously work to manage the culture within your organisation, to support the outcomes you want to achieve, something amazing is going to happen, NOTHING!!! Stop allowing the culture in your organisation, which may have evolved into a major success limiting factor, to continue to dictate the outcomes you are able to enjoy in your business. Until you wrestle back control of the organisational culture within your business, your results will continue to be battered, by the limitations of the current unwritten corporate philosophies or deep rooted beliefs within your business.
The culture or corporate code, within your business, is the single most important factor, which needs to be consciously evolved and developed, within your organisation. The current culture is either supporting the vision you have for your business or it is undermining it. Every attempt you make to inspire progress or encourage positive change, within your business will be scuttled, if the culture within your business does not support the direction you want to take your business. When the culture in your business is not supporting the outcomes you are attempting to achieve, it poses a formidable obstacle towards achievingthe meaningful results you want.
Every single company has a culture. It can either be an uncontrollable monster, which continues to develop and evolve willy nilly, with zero conscious effort to shape it. Or it can finally become something you carefully mould, by carefully building a methodical process to shape your culture until it meets the needs within your organisation.
Whether your current culture is the result of a carefully designed process or whether it is just something, which has evolved unhindered over time. You must ask one crucial question “If everyone continues to experience things the way they do every day in the organisation, will the beliefs that this creates, drive the actions of my team members to produce the results I want?” If the answer to this simple, yet crucial question is a resounding “NO”, then you must immediately create a plan to introduce new experiences into your business, which will begin to create a new supportive set of unwritten corporate philosophies or beliefs. This will ensure that the daily actions of every team member will begin to support the transformation or progress you desire.
Take the initiative and begin to inspire the experiential changes needed to begin the process of introducing a new set of beliefs or unwritten corporate philosophies into your business. The need to change the culture within any organisation can never be delegated to a single leader or the HR department. It is something the entire leadership team must collectively shoulder. Any shift in culture is not something, which will be achieved in a day. It is a gradual process that is moulded daily, with the consistent and conscious input from every single leader.
If you want your business to flourish in this rapidly evolving and changing world, it is crucial that you manage your culture and ensure that it supports any transformation or outcomes you want to achieve. Don’t wait until it is too late, where you have completely lost control and you feel like you are aboard a boat without oars, which is approaching a dangerous waterfall, before you begin to change the culture or beliefs within your business. It is always a very costly and dangerous endeavour to try to play catch up, when things have spiralled out of control.
Action Idea: I believe that the single biggest contributor to the results you will enjoy in your business, is related to how well the culture, supports your corporate vision. It is for this reason that you need to consciously develop a clear understanding of the type of culture you need in your business, which will support the results you want.
How do you do it?
- This process of creating the corporate culture you need. Starts with you and your leadership team first identifying the results you want to enjoy in your business. Are you working to create market dominance, sales growth, technological excellence, and ease of customer interaction, best quality in market or accelerated earnings growth?
- Once you know the answer to this question, you must then consider what sort of culture will support you and your leadership team to achieve this outcome. The sooner you are able to create the experiences in your business to promote the formation of the new culture, the sooner you will get to see your team, begin to develop the beliefs and actions necessary, to support the outcome you want to achieve.
It is Simple
This really sounds simple and it is. The challenge most businesses face though, is getting their management team to support and completely buy in to the process. The best way to encourage complete buy-in is to involve as many people in developing the strategy necessary to achieve the change in culture as possible.
The Blame Game
I am sure that introducing a culture of accountability into your business is not something you are hearing for the first time. Any business, who has leaders or team members, who get trapped in the blame game, where they are constantly looking to shift blame, rather than find solutions. Will be doomed to remain trapped in the herd of average and never achieve the results they want.
If any company wants to accelerate their growth, they must quickly introduce a culture or belief system in their organisation, which supports accountability and a philosophy where everyone is encouraged to find solutions rather than ways to avoid blame. Every team member must develop a conscious belief that every one of them is part of the solution. There is never any value found by trying to remain in the herd, where you point fingers at everyone around you.
Companies Producing Great Results
Take a close look at any company, which is consistently producing great results and you will see that they are an organisation, with a culture, which is driven by accountability and ways to find solutions. Rather than a finger wagging culture where people just do enough to survive and stay off the radar. Be very careful to not only ask for accountability within your organisation when things have gone wrong. This breeds a culture or belief set within your organisation that accountability is about punishment. The only way to create a culture of meaningful accountability within your business is to empower people and encourage accountability and solution thinking.
Before tackling the project of creating a new supportive culture within your organisation. Ask your EXCO to complete the following sentences:
Around here customers are………
Around here leaders are………….
Around here team members are…
Once you have completed this exercise, approach your team and allow them to participate in an annomous survey, where they can safely complete the same three sentences. Research shows that in over 85 % of cases, there is a huge disparity between what the senior leadership team believes and what the people on the ground see.
This huge disconnect between, what the senior leadership in an organisation believe to be the corporate culture and what the team members in the trenches believe, is a huge barrier to success. The first step towards correcting this, is obviously for the senior leadership team to be aware of what the actual culture within their organisation is. Once they achieve the correct level of awarenes, the next step is to then create a set of new daily experiences to gradually mould the new culture they need.
Action Idea: Building any new culture within your business is a process and never an event. The process that I have found works the best, is broken up into four steps:
- Create “visible” new experiences to drive the development of the new culture. All your team members need to see things begin to change. When the people within your business, begin to see transformation, where accountability is rewarded and encouraged. They will gradually begin to shift their beliefs. As they see things begin to change they, will begin to believe it. Communicate openly with everyone, constantly encouraging feedback and participation from every team member.
- Allow every team member to “OWN” the process; every team member must be guided to understand the process and their crucial role in introducing any new culture into the organisation. Culture change can never be a secret; it must be clearly communicated, supported and encouraged daily. Culture does not develop in a day, it happens daily, due to consistent effort. As everyone in the organisation learns to own the process and helps drive the development of the new culture, they will align themselves with the process and will become a part of the solution.
- Developing a new culture of accountability, is most certainly not going to be clear sailing all the way. There are going to be challenges and resistance from people within the organisation. This is where “consistent feedback and communication” is crucial to the success of the process. The very culture of accountability, which you are trying to introduce, is what can and should drive this process. A “Solve It” modality must be encouraged. Try to get all team members to keep asking the question ‘What else can I do to make this better?” This is one of the most difficult parts in the process and requires patience and persistence on the part of the leadership team.
- Once your people have seen the “visible” changes within the organisation, they have been encourages and guided to “own” the process and they have begun to develop a “solve it” mentality, the final step is to keep “taking action”, revisiting each step in turn, until the culture is an integral part of the business. Promote this process by continually promoting an environment of trust, where you consistently do what you say you will do.
This process can only work if everyone in the organisation accepts that accountability is not “getting caught out for failing”, but rather building a new belief set, where everyone is encouraged to be a “Star in the solution” that is found. This new belief set or unwritten corporate philosophy encourages people to step forward and work together to solve challenges and get results.
Everyone does their part willingly, in a supportive and enjoyable environment, never because they are instructed or told to do so by their “MANAGER” or boss. Building a successful culture of accountability can never happen in an environment where people fear reprisal for innovating or trying something new. People must want to willingly become a part of the new culture because they have been exposed to a new set of experiences, which have encouraged a new fresh set of beliefs and these beliefs are driving their daily actions.