Corporate culture is critically important to us at Countybank. Hopefully, you feel the same about your company. Here’s a good piece we ran across recently with insights that can work at organizations of all sizes and types.
Build an awareness of culture and commit to refine your strategies and plans based on an understanding of your organizational culture. Think about frustrations about “the way things work around here” that are holding your organization back from reaching its potential. It also helps to define strengths you need to leverage in support of your vision or strategy as you understand how to further improve your culture.
Measure your culture and engage the organization in understanding the results at a deeper level. Engage your organization in the process to move from the fog of opinions and lack of clarity about your culture to a clearly defined picture of what you are all about. You’ll understand the overall culture and how it varies by department, division, level, geography or other key sub-groups.
Engage the organization in feedback and prioritization to define a few key improvements. Utilize feedback and prioritization techniques to understand your culture assessment results and to identify the top improvements to leverage strengths and improve weak areas that are holding you back. Many organizations obtain feedback but then employees are left wondering what will happen next. The key is prioritization as a team and not just more feedback.
Measure progress consistently and refine improvements with discipline and determination. Think about habits and routines more than one-time actions. How will you need to adjust meeting schedules, communication plans, measurements, tracking formats, team structures or other areas to improve how you manage the 1-3 priorities you identified? It will be important to monitor key measures related to the top priorities, since culture clearly impacts performance however you define “performance” in your organization. There will need to be regularly scheduled feedback and prioritization routines to identify and build on what’s working and to adjust actions that aren’t having the desired impact. The organization will see what’s working and what’s not and will spread the good ideas of your new operating model to areas outside of the 1-3 priorities you originally identified. You’ll know at that point you have the flywheel of culture change moving and gaining momentum.