“Company culture is the backbone of any successful organization” by Simon Sinek.
Organizational culture is the set of fundamental beliefs, principles, values & ways of interacting within an organization that contributes to the environment of an organization.
Organizational culture, though impalpable, has a significant effect on employees & organizational outcomes. An organization’s culture model determines what employees consider suitable behavior & how they feel about working for the organization. It defines & generates a unique environment to work in.
It influences how individuals, working teams & the organization plan, execute and manage their work. In this way, it helps determine the pace & efficiency with which work is finished. Every organization has a distinct type of organization culture making it different from the other & giving it a sense of direction. The culture followed by the organization has a sound impact on the employees and their relationship with themselves. So, understanding the culture of their workplace is important for the employees.
Google, while in limelight for many reasons today is also acknowledged for its culture as the fountain of its success. Category-leading organizations practically always stand out for their culture – companies like Netflix, Zappos, & Southwest Airlines whose aim, for instance, is happy employees.
So why is proper functioning of organizational culture forefather to all other theories of success? Culture affects profit, performance & even survival. If the building block is weak, then no matter what boosting is applied externally, the structure will be weak as well. Just like a room hot from a room heater or electricity that turns a machine into a refrigerator, culture can make a company successful.
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Look around your organization. Your employees are the ones accomplishing tasks, right? What do you know about them? How much you can understand their problems? And how have you attempted to settle them? In current times, competitive organizations have understood the importance of maintaining a healthy culture, for it enables:
It gives a sense of direction to the employees & leads to business success.
University of Michigan business professors Robert E. Quinn & Kim S. Cameron introduced 4 types of organizational cultures. These are:
It is a family-like culture. People are friendly & respectful towards one another. In this, leaders are seen as mentors. Emphasis is given on team building, loyalty & employee engagement. The main values are teamwork, consensus, communication & development. They focus on mentoring, nurturing, but more importantly, everything is done together.
In this type of organizational culture, employees are dynamic and creative. Adhocracy Culture fosters freedom & individual innovation. Employees are motivated to take risks & offer new ideas, and leaders are seen as risk-takers. Ultimately, the organization’s goals to grow & create new products define the success of a company. Their entry of success is whether they can predict market needs & generate new solutions to meet that demand.
Apple is a very good example of Adhocracy Culture – Apple’s founder, Steve Jobs, once said, “We hire people who want to make the best things in the world.” Apple puts stress on creativity & invention.
A Market Culture focuses on getting things done. Employees are motivated to compete for both internally & externally, to attain results, to focus on the goals, and to get things done. Leaders are both hard drivers & rivals as they have to be tough and have high expectations from the employees. Mostly the goals are related to profits, sales, market penetration, stock value.
An example of Market Culture is Oracle. Oracle’s executive chairman & co-founder Larry Ellison has said, “I’m addicted to winning”.
In this culture, the common themes are control & structure. The principles & procedures are well defined & a leader’s job is first to make sure employees follow procedures perfectly. Efficiencies & predictability are important in this culture. The organization’s goal is results, easy execution & low costs. The values that are important for these types of companies are consistency, firmness, protocols, and punctuality.
Burger King is a good example of a Hierarchy Culture. These organizations follow corporate procedures to ensure consistency & results.
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To spot united values, have your team think about how the organization functions positively impact them both professionally & personally. What is frustrating them? What is going well within the organization? Look for themes over the team’s answers. These themes will be your norms, and the particular actions within each theme will become your behaviors. The values will remain as they were initially defined but will now be more easily understood as they are further defined by the norms & behaviors. Seize these values, norms & behaviors in a “team commitment” document. Make it personal & alluring to read.
For instance, it may be that all individuals need access to each team members’ calendar settings, or it may be that your performance evaluation system needs a refresh. By separating the base level & the systems and operational changes, you can determine how best to move forward with supporting your newly defined culture.
Getting there need open conversations across teams & strong facilitation of these discussions. No one is saying it’s easy. But it’s important. Because your different characteristics of organizational culture is, above everything else, your most powerful & practical tool for impact.
With the quick changes in a world, where 85 % of the jobs of the future as in “2030” have not yet been invented, company culture will obtain even greater importance in forming strategies & outcomes. There are many examples of organizational culture that show its importance. We already live in the VUCA world standing for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity. What will we need to bloom in it will require addressing those problems with super-strong teams, and those teams will need to have super strong cultures?