This is a phrase we love:
Culture eats strategy for breakfast
- Peter Drucker
A constructive and smart culture is a key driver for performance, employee engagement, and attracting and retaining great employees. Without the right organisational culture, your strategies are unlikely to succeed. That's because the culture of the organisation determines the execution and implementation of strategies. If the culture isn't constructive, and in line with what you want to create, the execution of your strategies will always be watered down.
People don't leave their individual needs at the door when they walk into an office. People still want to be respected, feel valued, feel like they belong, and experience wellbeing.
A great company culture opens up a competitive dimension to your organisation that can’t easily be replicated. Why? It influences:
- the attitude with which individuals approach things
- a group’s ability and willingness to share knowledge, work together, create and innovate
- a group’s ability and willingness to solve problems and overcome challenges
- the potential to tap into a group’s collective intelligence
Creating a company culture
So how do we define and develop our company culture? In short, the culture of the group is the sum of the habits, or accepted way of doing things, that make up the daily interaction of employees with each other and clients.
As a first step it will be a good idea to evaluate the current habits in your teams, the good and the bad. Then have a look at where you want to be, and start making incremental (and sometimes dynamic) changes.
Key things to remember with company culture:
- Be intentional. Be intentional about the activities you use, the people you get on board, and the language you brand it with.
- Be particular. Know what you want the fruit to be, and plant the right seeds.
- Be in it for the long run. Developing new habits, or forming a great company culture is hard work. You have to constantly wage war against old or lazy habits that will want to creep in when pressure rises.
- Be involved. Find a way to evaluate team habits and trigger realignment when necessary.
- If it feels daunting, start small and keep it simple. Get a few basic principles right, and then build on that as you grow.
Key words for forming and establishing culture: create awareness, anchor ideal behaviours, high frequency, transparency, intentional language.