“Culture isn’t just one aspect of the game, it is the game. In the end, an organization is nothing more than the collective capacity of its people to create value.”
Louis V. Gerstner, Jr., Former CEO of IBM
We empower individuals and teams to understand and become champions of a culture; understanding the personal first and then the organisation, and then working out how to align the two. In times of pressure we will always revert to our own personal values, if we do not clearly understand how to live the organisations values.
Many of the leadership teams we work with make assumptions that their people understand the culture they are looking to create. Many of the leaders we work with believe they are living the values and attitudes of that culture. When we take a leadership team and sections or pockets of their people from around the organisation, through processes to explore the values, attitudes and beliefs, people have realisations about their own behaviour and also have tons of ideas for solutions on how to change or maintain the culture so that it does work well and in harmony.
This is not about having management consultants coming in to your organisation and telling you what to change. YOUR staff already know exactly what everyone could be doing more of, less of and differently. It’s about paying attention to this.
Some would say culture is “a combination of the values, behaviours, attitudes, beliefs, artifacts and reward systems, manifested by a company in its operations and relations with its stakeholders”.
That’s a mouthful!
More simply put culture is “The way things work around here” or “the DNA of the organisation”.
Culture is driven by leadership, with almost half of employees believing that the CEO is responsible for the culture. Culture can become deeply embedded in a company through a mixture of processes and success ensues when everyone takes ownership of the values. This means understanding and living the behaviours and attitudes that bring these values to life.
What we have often found, is that leaders agree the values (sometimes with the help of a consultant), communicate the values through nice images on the walls and nicely designed slides and internally communicated documents.
In our experience, people cannot list the values of their organisation, never-mind what it means to live them daily.
We also found that many of the Organisational Leaders we work with don’t necessarily live the tangible behaviours either, daily. Consistent role modeling is key to success.
Everyone in the organisation needs to understand what the values behaviours, attitudes and beliefs are, that enable that culture to thrive.
Most people haven’t spent time thinking about what their own personal values and beliefs are, or spent time questioning their own attitudes, let alone understanding the values, beliefs and attitudes that make their organisational culture work most effectively.
That’s why we help teams and organisations to live the culture; to make the values and behaviours tangible.
When we live our organisations values and the ensuing behaviours, these keystone habits convert how we do everything; from how we engage with each other and with customers, to how we make important business decisions and right down to how we write emails and greet a visitor to the premises.