Saturday, January 2, 2021

Ingrained Influence

Corporate culture should be a business 'app,' in that if you can rally an entire organization around ingrained influence or operationalized brand positioning, everyone can apply it each day as part of business performance.

Digital means flow, information flow, idea flow, and business flow. However, many traditional organizations have an inflexible pyramidal hierarchy, overly restricted structure, disengaged employees or dissatisfied customers, etc, which stifles change. Besides hard success factors such as business capability, culture is an invisible soft success factor to accelerate business innovation and performance. 

When culture is "working," it can unlock powerful synergies in today's world that relies so much on creativity, collaboration and teamwork. Culture is heavily ingrained and implicit and not directly perceptible, it is also very hard to change and changes slowly if at all. We have to shift gears and mindsets to see the culture as a collective whole living breathing thing with ingrained influence.

The policy is a set of principles or guidelines to drive culture and behaviors: Organizing is intentional, and therefore, it must have a purpose for creating innovative products/services to attract customers. Innovation has a purpose because it is about transforming a novel idea and achieving its business value. We do need to develop good policies to shape a great culture which is collective mindset, attitude, or behavior. Well set policies drive good behaviors and it is the employee behavior that expresses “culture.” In all the conversations about culture, keep in mind that it is the policies, procedures, rewards, and retributions that drive behavior, align actions and attitudes with them.

Policies are communication from the top. A policy is implemented via a protocol, process or practice, etc. When the policies are based on the purpose of what value the organization delivers to the customers and supported by appropriate systems, technologies, and support to the people, it thrives. The healthy workplace culture decreases the need for restrictive policies. Culture is ingrained and intangible, so management should do a good job of defining strategies, goals, and objectives, nurture, exemplify and oversee the culture, and successfully align resources toward achieving them and unlock innovation.

Top leadership team often “owns” and makes a huge impact on business culture: Culture is not something that can be dictated and followed such as a new policy or rule from management. Senior leadership makes a high influence on corporate culture. They listen well and provide ample room for cultural development, develop and advocate an authentic culture. The spirit of the organization comes from the top. To catalyze innovation, business leaders must work with the right mindset to create an inclusive organization with every dip in the business lifecycle, from individual thinking to collective mind (culture), improving resilience and reducing unnecessary organizational pressures.

Positive culture sparks creativity because the research indicates that when we are experiencing higher levels of positive emotion, we are more open to experience and more likely to be creative in the workplace. Managers demonstrate empathy and they are able to relate to people's feelings and bring out their potentials and develop them to be in line with the vision and mission of the organization. Experience between positive performing cultures and mediocre or negative cultures is that they evolve from the platform of trust and respect that cascades from the top.

Employees ignite a "case for change" and help to sow the seeds for culture evolution and business transformation: The true value of an employee is demonstrated when the employee acts as an ambassador of the organization; brings the advanced mindset, knowledge, skills, abilities and personal attitude that rejuvenates a culture of creativity and translates into higher than expected performance outcomes. Digital organizations really encourage autonomy and inspire their employees to step up and propose bold transformational change initiatives and then ask management to follow through.

High mature organizations have the very characteristics of openness, transparency, collaboration, empowerment, respect for the value of people and adding value to the enterprises. Corporate culture should be a business 'app,' in that if you can rally an entire organization around ingrained influence or operationalized brand positioning, everyone can apply it each day as part of business performance. Cultural value is based on people, the value of people is multidimensional both in qualitative or quantitative way such as the quality of the output delivered (new ideas, accurateness, value, positive culture influence, etc.); the speed in which the output is delivered; innovation of work, the time ratio spending on innovation, the level of cultural influence.

Whether an organization is more or less innovative depends on the clarity and precision with which its purpose is developed, understood and disseminated; the quality of culture as a business footprint, and the extent to which people can buy into a realizable vision which contains the imperative to innovate. In face of “VUCA” new normal, business today needs to be proactive rather than reactive. Despite the fact that there is a clear line between influencing and predicting what is to come, having the ability to predict is important for, and helpful in, influencing the future.


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