Why Culture Matters?

sy: Momen GHOLA Tuesday, October 22, 2013 http://gholamomen. blogspot. com/2013/10/why-culture-matters. html Culture is critical to organizational success and HR leaders have a strong role to play in fostering a healthy culture, in this paper we will explore the implications of culture, why culture should be shaped, how it is shaped, who owns and leads the culture and how to measure a culture. in fostering a healthy culture We spend 40 … or 45 … or even 50 … or more hours at work each week. Many of us spend more time with those we work with than we do our families.

For us to be content and fulfilled people, that time must be valuable for more than a dollar. We want to be engaged in our work. We yearn for work that is enjoyable, meaningful and engaging. When we are engaged we are safer on the Job, more productive and more willing and able to delight Customers. It is for these basic reasons that organizational culture matters. It is the right thing for an organization to do – to think about the work environment, working relationships and “how we do things here. ” Focusing on building and sustaining an organizational culture is one way of showing hat people are the organization’s most valuable asset.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

There are of course many other bottom line business reasons to focus on and shape or build organizational culture. Here are seven of those reasons. 1 . A strong culture is a talent-attractor. The organizational culture is part of the package that prospective employees look at when assessing the organization. Gone are the days of selecting the person you want from a large eager pool. The talent market is tighter and those looking for a new organization are more selective than ever. The best people want more than a salary and good benefits. They want an environment they can enjoy and succeed in. . A strong culture is talent-retainer. How likely are people to stay if they have other options and don’t love where they are? Your organizational culture is a key component of a person’s desire to stay. 3. A strong culture engages people. People want to be engaged in their work. According to a Gallup survey at least 22 million American workers are extremely negative or “actively disengaged” – this loss of productivity is estimated to be worth between $250 and $300 Billion annually. Your culture can engage people. Engagement creates greater productivity, which can mpact profitability. 4.

A strong culture creates energy and momentum. Build a culture that is vibrant and allows people to be valued and to express themselves, and you will create a very real energy. That positive energy will permeate the organization itself, reinforcing the culture and the attractiveness of the organization. 5. A strong culture changes the view of “work. ” Most people have a negative connotation of the word work. When you create a culture that is attractive, people’s view of “going to work” will change. Would you rather see work as drudgery or a Joy? Which do you hink your employees would prefer?

Which will lead to the best results? 6. A strong culture creates greater synergy. A strong culture brings people together. When people have the opportunity to (and are expected to) communicate and get to know each other better, they will find new connections. These connections will lead to new ideas and greater productivity – in other words, you will be creating synergy. Literally, 1 + 1 + right culture = more than 10. 7. A strong culture makes everyone more successful. Any one of the other six reasons should be reason enough to focus on organizational culture.

But the bottom line is that an investment of time, talent and focus on organizational culture will give you all of the above benefits. Not only is creating a better culture a good thing to do for the human capital in the business, it makes good business sense too. CEOs own the culture, but everyone in an organization leads culture To make the scenario behind this topic, some critical questions should be asked for management and employees; “How many of you have worked in more than one organization? How many of you have noticed different attitudes, habits and ways of doing things?

Did that cause different values and behaviors to show up? This will lead to a result that “Culture is the unwritten ground rules. Everyone in an organization leads culture. ” Corporate culture is ranked fourth on The Corporate Executive Board’s list of top 10 risks CEOs and executives are most concerned with in 2012. It did not even make the list in 2008. It is a top concern of CEOs yet they don’t always know what to do about it or how to systematically address culture challenges. Organizational culture is now also well researched and strongly connected to financial performance.

I will eference a McKinsey & Company Quarterly 2011 article that described organizational health as being about a company’s ability to align, execute and renew faster than competitors to sustain performance, and is the ultimate competitive advantage. Why culture matters: A CEO’s perspective A leader is 100-percent accountable for every success and failure in a business. Some culture elements could be impeding performance that included unease about change, inability to see root causes, lack of critical self examination, unawareness of public perception and a mentality of “go along to get along. Cultural barriers are vident and have to be addressed. The importance of culture change being owned by the CEO and top leaders. “The leader is a critical part of change; they either enable or create the culture. ” Leaders must model the behaviors they want of their employees leaders. The role of the chief human resources officer in creating or leading a culture transformation “If we do nothing, the culture still exists. Cultural and change leadership must be a key HR competency because it is clear HR plays a vital role. Jim Minogue, managing director and head of Human Resources at Gleacher & Company, an investment anking firm. According to Minogue’s conceptual model for building a sustainable HR strategy, noting that culture drives HR strategy. Within this model, business strategy defines corporate culture and drives HR strategy, which determines key HR practices, policies and processes needed to support the culture. He has five steps he uses to create an HR strategy. The first is identifying key HR practices and then prioritizing them for impact.

Once alignment with the desired culture and senior leaders has been assessed, an implementation plan can be developed and executed upon. He eferenced the HR competency model developed by University of Michigan business professor and author David Ulrich. Ulrich’s model has the HR leader as the foundation for driving policies and practices, systems and processes and organizational capabilities. Ulrich notes that HR’S ability to define, create, manage and change culture has become a unique source of competence that HR professionals must demonstrate.

Organizational Development’s role in leading culture Performance is formed within the context of culture. Culture change is a long-term proposition and requires a long-term plan. Cultural change requires a holistic view too. An organization cannot change Just one aspect, but must also align systems, structure, skills, staff, strategy, and shared values. An appropriate organizational analysis model will put shared values at the center, supporting and driving all aspects of the organization to get sustainable results.

Human resources and organizational development will help steward culture work through the organization by driving performance at individual, team and organizational levels to meet and exceed goals. Any culture change will require numerous initiatives to create and ustain change along with solid project management to carry through. When it comes to organizational design, it is stated that a change of structure may be a quick way to initiate change, however, it is not always sustaining unless there is alignment with other levers of change, such as compensation, training and other aspects of change that engage at the individual and team levels.

The strongest cultures survive because they adapt In a wide review on culture, leadership and performance, I will quote Charles Darwin struggle for survival, the fittest win at the expense of their rivals because they ucceed in adapting themselves best to their environment. ” The most significant, long-term challenge for companies is leadership succession and adaptability to an ever-changing environment. Great companies must always adapt, and that can be the biggest challenge for leaders.

For example, IBM mainframes were a growth industry and became IBM’s greatest strength and greatest liability when the environment changed. Lou Gerstner needed to dramatically transform IBM’s culture and strategy from hardware to a software and services business while preserving its core values. Innovation, diversity, risk-taking and entrepreneurship top the list of characteristics of adaptability. This likened cultural health to Darwin’s theory of survival of the fittest: “Change or die is an organizational imperative, Just as it was a biological imperative. Innovation is the lifeblood of successful companies and organizational sclerosis and cultural arrogance are the greatest threats. How do you diagnose and measure a culture? Describing how diagnosis and measurement of culture is a critical first step toward building an agenda for change. That process starts with defining what you want in erms of values and behaviors relative to the desired culture and diagnosing the current state of the culture and the behaviors that may need to shift. The desired culture is expressed through values and behaviors created by the executive team.

For people to live those behaviors and make the culture a way of life, they need to first go through an unfreezing approach where they become more aware of their behaviors and engage in, reflect on and make personal (emotional) commitments to how they operate. Measuring cultural shifts must take place on three levels, noted in: ??Individual: values and behaviors, embedded into process that gives feedback, starting with senior team ???Team: measured against values and behaviors ???Organization: engagement surveys alone don’t really measure culture.

An option is to create a culture survey or add key culture questions to an engagement survey. Takeaways and Conclusions What is culture? ???Culture is creating a sense of who you are as an organization and representing that culture in everything that is done in the organization. ???Culture is the history of the organization that defines how things get done. ??Culture is the attitudes, belief sets, values, written ground rules, and unwritten ground rules that set the tone of the organization. ??A healthy, high-performance culture impacts financial performance and increases employee engagement. ???Companies with a strong culture perform better, are more resilient and last longer. ???Culture is a top concern for CEOs and is a critical part of a CEO’s strategic focus and business model. What is the role of the chief human resource officer in creating a culture? ???Culture drives the human resource strategy and the human resource strategy drives he culture. ???The chief human resource officer, in partnership with the CEO, is a key leader of culture change at a very high level. ??The chief human resource officer should guide and coach to the kind of culture that will help the organization succeed and help sustain that culture. ???The chief human resource officer should “model” the desired cultural behaviors through the management of his/her human resource organization. ???Key competencies for a chief human resource officer leading a cultural transformation are courage and boldness. How do you change a culture? ??It may be necessary to use a “burning platform” to create change. The term: Burning Platform is a business lexicon that emphasizes immediate and radical change due to dire circumstances. ) ???The CEO must cast the leadership shadow and “walk the talk” for the desired culture and values or they will be seen as unimportant. ???In order to change a culture, key leaders must be emotionally committed to personal change. ???Leaders must inspire people to change and build trust so that people will follow them, even to places they may not want to go. ???Culture transformation must be part of the organizational strategy. ?People must have a personal connection to the values for behaviors to change. ???Culture change can occur from the top down or from the bottom up; it is important to engage people at different levels of the organization to embed cultural change. ???Culture change and leadership succession are important and connected. ???Define the characteristics of the culture that are to be maintained and enrich those characteristics. ???Use on-boarding and mentoring to communicate and embed the culture. ???Bring the desired culture to life by celebrating the success of those individuals who demonstrate the new values and behaviors.