Thursday, July 29, 2021

Culture perspective via “HOW”s

If your culture embraces the future, inspires others, being a customer fanatic, then it forms a dynamic digital environment and creates business synergy.

Culture is how the organization thinks and does things collectively. Good culture can lift up a so-so strategy; but an ineffective culture will screw up a great strategy. Thus, organizational leaders should do research and validate a culture assessment instrument that measures culture from different perspectives; such as cultural constructs or dimensions of culture and cultural styles.

How is culture created? How is it operationalized & maintained?- How is it expressed? Can it be changed, & how? Corporate culture is created out of the systems, processes, human capital and associated continual development, organizational hierarchy, and strategy design of the organization. The prevailing culture- how in reality the organization behaves and acts, often reflects the personality of the organizational founders or the top leadership team. Culture may be rooted in values, but it is expressed in organizational practices and behaviors. A too strongly infused culture affects changeability of the organization. A too weak culture infusion affects the ability to walk in one direction. Culture is a collective organizational habit, it’s difficult to change. But if culture becomes the very obstacle for strategy management or turns out to be the very cause of change inertia, that must change, and it is changeable.

Culture is more of an anthropological concept. Everyone is influenced by culture but just a few can influence culture. A strong leader can influence/enhance the culture. A weak leader who is completely influenced by the existing culture would no longer have the ability to evolve it because their vision would be narrowed and blurred. It’s crucial to build a culture that willingly confronts tough issues and makes changes because the business leaders understand the driver of change and the psychology behind changes; they understand the inertia of old culture, and they can recognize the powerful advocates of new cultures. The culture will only be as strong as the behaviors of the senior execs and the way they use these to demonstrate their commitment to the values and vision on a daily basis.

How to integrate various subcultures of the organization to glue up a strong business brand? There are various subcultures in its different units, departments, geographical location, and sections that are the result of the group dynamics in each of them and their local conditions. Different teams perhaps also shape their culture to get things done in different styles. Homogeneous group setting perhaps advocates certain group values; whereas heterogeneous team setting is usually the fertile ground for nurturing innovative culture. When there is a need for a culture change, there are problems or ambitions, just as in every other strategy that has to be realized. When there’s intention to culture integration, it’s important to clarify: Among other considerations, culture stands as a key factor not only in attaining organizational goals but also in the attraction and retention of desirable employees, creating a public image that is positive and building respectful relationships with stakeholders.

There’s also a philosophical connection between wholeness and partness for integrating parts into the whole, regardless of whether it's about culture or other system integration. 'Wholeness' means the scientific belief in an object being 'whole'- a cohesive corporate culture is a blend of core values, belief, myth, that translates to the overall success of any company. 'Partness' means all things being linked together through their interdependent relationships. Fostering change and culture integration is always a collaborative endeavor, this dimension of network diversity is indeed needed to provide more teeth and speed to the change initiative in the rapidly changing times. Business leaders with contextual culture understanding of functional dialects and business cultures or subcultures can capture unique insight of the integral culture, and eventually lead to cultural change.

Culture Index actually measures the ability of people to influence culture: In a fast-growing company people tend to have similar ideal values that then get manifested in their corporate culture. When the company continues growing, the corporate culture tends to stay the same over time, the culture inertia is inevitable. Everything is moving around, the company and the culture could have been successful for years, but no longer be valued by customers or admitted by staff, or it turns out to be the very barrier to stop businesses from gaining agility and maturity. Culture is tough and can take a long time to change because it may require leadership and change management practices. So business leaders need to ponder around: What would the ideal culture look like? Is desired culture propagated intentionally by management or by employees? Do you have a culture index that can measure the ability of people who can influence culture and drive change to improve their organizational effectiveness and agility.

Culture change is multidimensional, often accompanied with structural change, leadership change or process change. As it involves developing and promoting a sound shared vision that everyone can buy into and make sure that changes you make are at the heart of the organization. Change agents are in demand, and the organizational management needs to design new culture models, and recognize their culture change agents: Who can come up with new ideas? Then, who can implement them? Who will embrace change, who will fight it? If you want an innovative culture, you need to create an effective culture index, empower your creative workforce for driving needed changes in different ways, for tuning both hard and soft factors to get digital ready. In practice, people are empowered, intrinsically motivated, creative to take initiative and self-confident to explore the better way. Knowing that walking, talking, questioning, listening, and helping people to see themselves in the new world is vital to the success of the new culture.

If your culture embraces the future, inspires others, being a customer fanatic, then it forms a dynamic digital environment and creates business synergy. Building a culture of learning and creating accountability in the ever-expanding workplace is a multi-layered and multi-dimensional management issue in today’s environment.


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