To survive and grow, and even regain competitive advantage, many companies are grappling with ways to transform their businesses in the face of radical change.
They are responding in many predictable and time-tested ways: Changing CEOs and leadership teams, shifting strategies, rolling out new product lines, amping up innovation, cutting costs and restructuring.
These are all the necessary things to do to react to change, but these actions usually only treat the symptoms of a chronic illness – hardening of corporate arteries – without curing the underlying cause. Companies may be missing out on the most important strategy of all: Creating a culture of agility.
Culture is not something companies can add on as “decor” once the building is complete, it is the foundation on which the house is built. Top 30+ must reads on organizational culture:
# 1 – What is organizational culture? Why care about culture?
Anyone can copy a company’s strategy, but nobody can copy their culture! Culture is key to building a company.
#3 – Why is organizational culture change difficult
Changing culture is a bit like changing the course of a large ship – it takes time to man oeuvre and whilst the engines are pushing one way the tides and winds are pushing another
#4 – What is organizational agility?
Competitive advantage depends on the ability to move quickly, decisively and efficiently in sensing, responding to and exploiting change in the business environment. Organizational agility is needed
#5 – Titanic sank after colliding with an iceberg
Some aspects of organizational culture are visible on the surface, like the tip of an iceberg, while others are implicit and submerged within the organization. It seems quite ironic, that organizations are often not aware, or may choose to ignore the attributes that are beneath the surface and not seen. Sometimes leaders make decisions only on that is visible to them.
# 6 – Changing organizational culture is daunting
Successful execution of a growth strategy depends heavily on having a culture that drives high performance. Changing the culture, however, is daunting for any organization. Culture is deeply embedded in values, assumptions, behaviors, and attitudes.
#7 – What are the keys to CREATE a cultural change?
The hardest part of a business transformation is changing the organizational culture. So, what are the keys to CREATE a cultural change?
#8 – It’s not enough anymore to just create the strategy
Culture and strategy need to eat lunch together – Culture is either driving the strategy or undermining it!
#9 – Is culture more important than strategy
The most important thing about culture is that it’s the only sustainable point of difference for any organization. Anyone can copy a strategy, but nobody can copy a culture.
#10 – Organizational culture is largely invisible – organizational roadblocks
Watch out for “We have always done it that way”, “That’s not the way we do things around here”, “We are different” etc. These phrases and others like it typically refers to the complex, subtle practices that become ingrained in an organization’s culture, to the point where they become part of its identity. Ignoring what’s below the surface is what will ultimately undermine organizational transformation.
Culture is today’s major performance differentiator. Culture creates the foundation for strategy and will either be a company’s greatest asset or largest liability. Successful execution of strategy depends very much upon the organizational culture. Don’t leave the organizational Pac-Man unattended!
One day Darth Vader might put off the mask and say “I am the father of corporate failures”.
#16 – Managing organizational culture
High-performance organizations set, manage, and monitor their culture to achieve strategic objectives. They start by defining the desired culture required to enable their strategy, then define values that align with their culture and intentionally cultivate these in their workforce.
# 17 – The shadow of the leaders
Organizations are shadows of their leaders ….. that’s the good news and the bad news. The behavior of the senior team has a direct impact on the performance and productivity of the entire organization.
#18 – Killed by a corporate culture of complacency
Complacency almost always comes from a sense of success and lives long after the success that created it has disappeared. Organizations that are complacent do not look for new opportunities or hazards.
#19 – Toxic corporate cultures that give rise to disasters
The potential for goal-setting to enhance performance may come at the cost of ethical behavior.
#20 – Successful rowing eights operate as a unit
The most critical element in any strategy is its translation into reality. The only true measure of success is in its execution. And one of the key determinants of successful strategy implementation is organizational alignment.
#21 – Measuring organizational alignment
As the world becomes progressively more competitive and globalized, companies need to align their organization with the market and customers’ requirements. Measuring organizational alignment allows companies to identify backsliding, correct course where needed and demonstrate tangible evidence of improvement – which can help to maintain positive momentum over the long haul.
#22 – The relationship between culture and strategy
Every organization that excels at building, reinforcing, and leveraging their unique culture in support of delivering sustainable performance has built a strong “culture foundation”.
#23 – Organizational values
Core values are what support the vision, shape the organizational culture and reflect what the company values. They are the essence of the company’s identity – the principles, beliefs or philosophy of values.
#24 – The operating system that powers the organization
Company value statements typically have a tendency to be a bit vague and lacking instructions that tell employees what the most important guidelines are for the company. That’s way it make sense to add organizational guidelines – culture code, the operating system that powers the organization.
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