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Is Your Culture Driving Your Business Forward?
How to develop a future focussed culture fit for growth
Culture isn't always explicit, but its impact on your business is undeniable.
It shapes how your teams engage with their work, influences productivity, and ultimately determines your organisation's success.
In a recent study, 78% of executives acknowledged that culture is one of the top five factors that make their company valuable.
Yet surprisingly, despite its importance it remains a neglected aspect of business strategy, often overlooked in boardroom discussions and rarely measured.
And that can hinder your business's growth potential and limit your ability to succeed.
If you’re driven by results and focused on business success, you understand the importance of maximizing every opportunity for growth and improvement.
Aligning your culture with your strategic goals can provide a significant competitive advantage; enhancing employee engagement, attracting top talent, and fostering innovation.
And for CEO’s with an eye on growth and scale, culture is worthy of investment.
In a study for CFO Magazine, almost 50% of executives said they would not acquire a company whose culture was not aligned with their own.
Regardless of how established your company is, or how large, you do already have a culture.
A great description of culture might be:
‘the way we do things (when no one is watching)’
And regardless of how many interventions you make or how many policies you put in place, your culture will always be determined by the behaviours modelled by your executive team and managers.
Your actions, decisions, values and choices set the tone and standards throughout your entire business. And it is you who holds the power to shape and transform your business.
Culture is worthy of the Executive Team's attention.
Reflect: In a study by Duke University more than 90% of executives said culture is important at their firms, but only 15 % said their own corporate culture is exactly where it needed to be.
Ask yourself and your leadership team: how important is culture to your business?
And to what degree is it where you need it to be to achieve the vision you’ve set?
Assess: The Centre for Creative Leadership suggests two follow-up questions to ask your leadership team to determine whether your organisational strategy and culture are in sync:
To what extent is our culture having a positive or negative impact on performance?
Is our culture helping us to achieve the business strategies we’ve set?
Scale: If your leadership team’s actions set the example for the rest of the organisation, look around you. Get some collective feedback on how you are perceived as a leadership team or spend time assessing your strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities.
Ask yourself: to what degree do your leadership actions and decisions reflect the culture you want to see elsewhere in the business?
What two behaviours could you commit to collectively working on and prioritise?
How can you better promote your commitment and shifts across your business?
Revisit this for 6 techniques to get better feedback as a team:
Shift: As your business evolves in response to internal change or growth, culture must be reassessed and redesigned. The behaviours and ways that you’ve done things in the past might not be the same as those that will work for you as you scale and change.
Your shared history and journey are important.
But culture must not be about nostalgia.
To what degree do the stories your leadership team tell reflect the behaviour you want to see modelled in future?
What two changes could you make that would shift the story to reinforce the behaviours and culture you want in future?
Read: Patty McCord’s book Powerful is an excellent thought-provoking read about how to build a high-performance culture of freedom and responsibility, based on her time at Netflix; and her role in co-creating the Netflix Culture Deck.
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