If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you probably know I’m a bit obsessed with company culture. I’ve written about if you should disconnect from your “always-on” culture, about culture being the “secret sauce”, about culture mapping (yes, this is a thing), and even gave a list of sayings that will kill your company culture really fast.
But today, I want to look at why the marriage of strategy AND culture should really be your mission.
I saw a study by Deloitte recently that said: “exceptional organizations think about their business as a two-sided ledger: strategy and culture.” It went on to say that 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe a distinct workplace culture is important to business success. What’s more, it said that when considering which factors substantially contribute to a company’s success, 76% of executives identified “a clearly defined business strategy” (vs. clearly defined and communicated core values and beliefs at 62%) as being the most important factor.
On the flip side, employees believed strategy (57%) and clearly defined values and beliefs (55%) were much closer.
What does that tell me?
The culture of our companies and our business strategy are intertwined. When married, they lead to bigger, better and greater things.
In fact, the same study shows that exceptional organizations create and sustain a culture that engages and motivates their employees — when they are happy at work and feel they are valued by their company, they are more inspired to help the business succeed.
So, how do we make this work? How do we implement a strategy that is also people-centric?
The Deloitte study says there is a correlation between clearly articulated and lived culture and strong business performance. It requires that organizations have core beliefs that are:
- and Embedded in the Culture
The question is, how do you embed these beliefs into your operations — into your company’s strategic plan, yearly goals, aspirations, etc.
Here are some rapid-fire ideas:
Have leadership regularly communicate the company’s core values and beliefs. But, don’t just say it. Live it. Lead by example and your team will be inspired to follow.
Make sure that you’re consistent with your messaging and your execution. Making sure you’re providing a clear and consistent message is a no-brainer, but we can easily fall into the trap of celebrating company culture at events or around the holidays. Remember, culture is an everyday thing.
Don’t forget to self-audit. How are you working to marry your company’s goals, vision, strategic plan, etc. with your company culture? Are they aligned? Have you asked your team members how they feel? This is not a set-it and forget-it type thing.
I’d love to hear from you! Is your company’s culture in-line with its strategy? How did you get it there? How do you make sure it stays there? Let’s carry this conversation over to my LinkedIn page!