Changing a company’s culture requires a movement, or rather a disruption of sorts. But first, it’s important to understand what is it we are trying to change in an organization; and
when or how do we begin to see the signs?
If we have to go back to the basics, the objective of any cultural transformation is to preserve and many a times remind those intrinsic or underlying elements that made an organization what it is today, and also to eliminate or alter the very aspects that threaten it in terms of growth.
So, what do we mean by organizational culture? While historically, culture may have been seen as a mushy and fuzzy concept, there is today sufficient evidence in favor of culture as a powerful and enduring source of competitive (dis) advantage.
“Culture eats Strategy for breakfast”- Peter Drucker
A powerful culture is directly proportional to business results, and a more certain route to organizational success. And that itself is reason enough for the C-Suite to focus on Culture. If business was to be personified, its culture would be its first impression, personality, character, and much more. In short, it is everything including a company’s attitude, behaviour, performance and values.
Why is then a need to change organizational culture?
Altering an organizational culture is usually a daunting thought for organizations for the simple
reason that culture is deeply embedded in the company’s very core. What is even more baffling is that organizations continue to grapple with performance and growth issues, without even realising that the root of the problem (in this case, solution) is in the culture.
Many a times they believe that culture can’t be turned-around, or are too scared of the repercussions of sponsoring such a change process, and continue to ignore the signs. And signs there are for all to see, which are mostly interpreted as an HR issue, or a capability issue. The result is usually one of the two: either accept it as part of corporate reality and painfully live with it each day, or attempt a well-intentioned quick fix through a superficial team building exercise.
In umpteen conversations with Promoter-Directors, Owners, CEOs, Founders and other Leaders, I’ve heard them talk about the following pain points, which inadvertently are Culture related issues:
- Leaders not aligned: This tends to happen all the time, and is a guaranteed route to mission failure. Time and resources are being spent on unproductive actions and issues. When there is lack of one vision, leaders become incapable of debating, challenging each other and proactively supporting progressive actions.
- Lack of Ownership and Drive is stifling growth: It’s like a “dump and run” approach, with employees at large upwardly delegating issues and challenges for the managers/leaders to solve. This further stunts the leadership pipeline, because employees aren’t really learning to own challenges, and proactively think and plan.
- Blame Game: There is constant firefighting, with employees always focusing on why things can’t happen. No one is looking for solutions. Additionally, likelihood of a project falling through the cracks because people are busy pointing fingers at each other.
- Operating in Silos/Territorialness: ‘Save my ass’ culture, turf wars, insecurity, mistrust, all leading to unhealthy competition. Departments and leaders fighting over ‘control’ and ‘winning’, no matter its impact on the overall business growth. Breakdown of inter-department communication has a direct impact on business operations, revenue loss and customer retention.
- Complacency and comfort zone, which is symbolic of weak decision making, reluctance to change, lack of vision & innovation, and an inability to walk the extra mile.
Most leaders and organisations have a hard time acknowledging problems with their company cultures. Like it or not, Culture Building is a business necessity. Pay attention to it now, before it becomes a liability and a business urgency.
Being aware of your existing culture and the pain points is the first step in your culture transformation journey. And that is where WyoW (What you’re Worth) Consulting comes in. WyoW is inspired and empowered by an approach of shared destination and helps organizations in bringing about a single-minded culture of performance, passion and possibilities. By bridging the gap between new-world skillset and current organizational capabilities, WyoW drives a culture of effective collaboration and communication leading to continuous performance enhancement.
Only when organizations make extra-ordinary results a non-negotiable goal, organizational culture becomes relevant. It is cultural transformation that breeds inspired and empowered employees who are clear on their roles and accountabilities and are committed to play their part.