Tuesday, January 12, 2016

An Authentic Culture

An organization with an authentic culture can inspire openness, innovation and motivational.

Culture is the collective mindset, attitudes, and behaviors. Culture is not something that can be dictated and followed such as a new policy or rule from management. Therefore, the organizational culture expression shouldn’t be read on the surface, the mantra put on their slogans or the speeches made in the conferences. Culture is what happens when managers are not around or the small group chatting in the coffee room, or how do they deal with talent management (leadership development, hiring & firing, etc.). It is like an iceberg where the visible elements, such as behaviors, make much sense with recognizing and understanding the underlying mindsets, expectations, and assumptions. So what are the fundamental elements to build an authentic culture in order to run a high-valuable and high-mature digital organization?

Authentic leadership: Authenticity is the most fundamental, but challenging attribute for leadership effectiveness. We all know leadership is neither a title nor a certificate, the truth is great leaders are both nature and nurtured. They may encounter certain life events to inspire them to become leaders, which is the natural way, but in more nurtured logic, every authentic leader needs to mind certain gaps and bridge the cognitive difference. Great Leaders ought to be concerned not only with the here and now but prayerfully with their legacy to future generations -- a better future!! It's only when we lead with our true selves that we're able to connect meaningfully, build trust, and truly engage with others' authentic selves. The spirit of organizations comes from the top. Not only walk the talk; leaders, believing in the effects and high value of company culture, need a lot of resilience, to follow their roadmap continuously.

Authentic Communication: If communication has to develop fully and authentically, it is essential that the person communicating should also be equally aware of what he/she wants to communicate, how he/she communicates and above all ensure that he/she has communicated correctly. Lack of trust is an often overlooked barrier to communication. The reality of messages is that they have to be "real." Most of the organizations today are process and control driven. Emphasis is on compliance with the result people forget to think freely. Words and techniques won't matter if the relationship between the giver and the sender has been damaged. Leaders, or those who are sending the message, must have integrity, openness, and insight. Usually, in the workplace, some managers put up a barrier of being judgmental. Without leaving an open mind, and allowing the individual to finish their message, they would have taken a stand.  Respect in any situation goes a long way in getting your message across, even difficult. Also ensuring that you are using a respectful tone in delivering the message to the individual is important. Well- mix the richness of multiple digital communication channels. For communicating changes, the richest communication channel you can possibly use is important. It’s important to leverage multiple digital channels and methods to communicate both via virtual communication channels and face-to-face meetings. Also, communication is a two-way street. Authentic communication practices include:
(1) Deep Listening Practice - Collective/Internal communication
(2) Team Inception Practice - Collective/External collaboration; gets teams off on the right foot
(3) Dynamic Facilitation Practice - Collective/Internal & External interaction; continuous maintenance, anti-fragile
4) Peer-based Feed-forward Practice -Very much about individual performance tuned in a collective setting.

Authentic workforce: Highly authentic digital cultures don't reflect their members, their members reflect them; meaning you select team members who are natural fits. It is a culture that encourages real thinking and being authentic, one that is comfortable with uncertainty. Culture is determined by behaviors - how do you act/react to everything at all times. It is a reflection of the mindset. Successful culture change helps people become who they are. By encouraging people to focus on who they are, and pursue the purpose discovery, autonomy, and mastery, the great culture catalyzes a positive mind, attitude, and behaviors; but discourages negativity and unprofessionalism. At the conversations about culture, we need to remember that it is the policies, procedures, rewards, and retributions that drive and groom advanced minds and good behavior and it is the employee behavior that expresses "culture." With authentic leadership, authentic communication and well-set principles, but not so overly rigid processes, people are inspired to strengthen their strength, to become who they are, and unleash the talent potential which is well aligned with business’s goals and purpose, to create synergy and accelerate business growth and maturity.

Either in a stagnant business giant or an energetic start-up, culture can be a critical component of business success for the long term. An organization with an authentic culture can inspire openness, innovation and motivate team members to work toward a common goal and build a strong business grand and unique business competency.


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