“Company cultures are like country cultures. Never try to change one. Try, instead, to work with what you’ve got.” Peter Drucker.
Do you have an articulated culture statement? No, it’s not your mission statement. It’s a statement that depicts the ‘why’ of your business or the reason for the organisations’ existence.
Culture is what drives the organisations’ most critical output—brand experience.
It’s an amorphous element. For an organisation, culture is defined by the behaviour of its leaders, its people and its processes. A mix of these three creates, what I call, the organisational cultural mask.
Presently I’m in the midst of developing a culturisation program. Working on the project bought home to me three key facts that organisations oft miss out in identifying, understanding and managing their culture- emotions, experience & the employees.
Emotions, Experience, Employees
What is common in these three?
All business is, after all, done by people and for the people and that makes the employee the most critical asset of any organisation. Employees are the people who create & live the culture of the organisation and directly impact on how the brand is perceived. Yet organisations oft forget they are dealing with people and not a fixed asset. What drives people are their emotions.
Emotions are an extremely strong driver for all our actions and impacts on our state-of-mind. The emotional state-of-mind and the work environment create the behaviour of an employee which, in turn, creates the overall brand experience. Coupled with habits the behaviour becomes the culture for an organisation.
Culture is unique
Just like our DNA, culture for every organisation is unique. It has its positive and negative. The starting point in understanding the prevailing culture is to see if employees are having a cultural fit in the exiting culture.
Here’s why individual cultural fit is so important:
- Human Capital— is an asset for any organisation. Without human capital there is no organisation and in turn no brand. Enormous investments are made in talent development by organisations in training & leadership grooming to have the right people in the right roles.
- Brand Experience—By having a culture that enables executives to be happy doing their jobs and wanting to do their best, is by far, the only way to maximise productivity and efficiency. It’s the organisational culture that manifests through the executive interpersonal communication and interaction to all stakeholders. This is the single most important driver in creating brand perception and image.
Once there exists a common understanding of the organisational definitions of values and behaviour applicable for the organisation, the next step would be to look at how key functions can display those values and behaviour, both internally amongst colleagues and externally to their stakeholders.
By articulating and displaying desired behaviour through small but significant steps key employees who have influential powers would create a positive impact on others. This is renovating an existing culture with a clearly articulated brand experience objective.
If you are interested in ensuring a positive and fulfilling brand experience then get under the skin of the organisation and understand the core from where all behaviour is emanating. Communicate and engage with your colleagues to understand where the behavioural pain-points are. Address those pain-points diligently and keep at it till the desired behaviour becomes a habit. There is no short-cut to having a great culture at work.