Cultural Transformation

Most businesses give such limited attention to their culture, focusing rather on product, service and operational attributes. However poor culture can make or break a business, no matter how good the product or service initiative is.

 

The term ’culture’ is generally misunderstood within many organisations; we use different terms that describe aspects or outward appearances but rarely do businesses understand their culture.   Only when we look deeply within an organisation, looking at each team/department, and each layer of management, do we truly see the culture.  The business might have a grand vision, mission statement, with objectives, and say all of the right words from the top, but unless the words are followed up with consistent action and implementation across the whole business, the culture will never reflect the words.  Culture, when filtered down, is simply what is accepted.  Culture can be different between departments in the same business because of what is promoted and allowed.

 

Successful businesses and leaders do not work in silos or have hidden agendas. Thriving businesses and leaders have a “one team” understanding, a common viewpoint and drive, full accountability, and work off the same plan to achieve overall success.  Beyond Your Horizon spends time with the organisation to assess the culture and determine the characteristics that lie beneath the surface, both positive and negative, that drive the business.

 

To understand culture is to not just simply understand what a business does, but we must also understand the how and the why.  How considers processes of engagement (with others through consultation), degrees of control, level of accountability, democracy vs autocracy, while why understands the motives and driving forces behind what occurs.

Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.

Jack Welch

How do you tell if there is a cultural issue within an organisation? Are leaders clearly able to identify and understand the various underlying and accepted behaviours within the business?  Does the business attempt to implement great initiatives that don’t go as planned?  Do undesirable practices continue?  Is there trust in the managers and leaders?  Maybe the climate or the culture within a section of the business or an underlying belief across the organisation is causing these inconsistencies to occur?

Climate is strongly influenced by the leadership dimensions within the organisation; how different managers lead; the consistency, support, commitment and engagement across leadership; how is change managed; what are the key words/phrases spoken by management.  Climate is the atmosphere that leads to how culture is developed. Culture is less tangible and is the more difficult to consistently change as it is typically embedded in the values, beliefs, perceptions and traditions of the organisation.  Both are integrally linked, and both must be worked on together to effect transformation.

At Beyond Your Horizon, we help the organisational leaders identify the areas that require attention, and build on the aspects that work well, to develop a solid foundation for the business. Combined with coaching or mentoring, the business will grow to the next level.