Four Signs That Your Company Culture is Working

by | Mar 24, 2014

Company culture plays a huge role in productivity, growth and success. We know this. A company’s culture is made up of individual employee behaviours that spread and become general company habits that stick. At The Strategy Group we focus extensively of working with organisations, large and small, around building their company innovation culture.

recent article written by Jon Katzenbach, Rutger Von Post and James Thomas provides an easy process which you can use to improve your company or team culture. Four indicators can reveal that your culture is boosting the business:

1. Your culture taps into the waiting reserves of energy within lots of people. If you have a culture focused on a certain set of performance outcomes, and employees buy into it, people start reinforcing one another informally. Simply put, they increasingly help one another feel good about what they need to do. As a result, you gain a greater level of emotional commitment to the work that matters most.

2. Your culture guides down- the-line decision making. If you have a strong culture, you don’t need to have prescribed policies for every permutation of a situation. Employees can rely on cultural influences to help determine what they should do—they will act with speed, and they’ll take initiative. You simply do not need all those formal sign-offs when you have the right kind of cultural support. When nobody is there to give the approval, the culture guides the individual in how to act.

3. Your culture builds enduring execution capability. Over time, critical behaviors are repeated; as they turn into habits, people become faster and better at executing. You see evidence of greater customer loyalty, higher levels of the kinds of employee engagement that matter most for performance, higher degrees of emotional commitment to what the organisation is focused on, a more rigorous pursuit of continuous improvement, and greater resilience in downturns.

4. Behaviours in normal times emulate positive behaviors during crisis situations. We often hear executives praise the collaborative, selfless, and energetic behaviours of their people during a crisis—and lament the fact that they don’t see more of those kinds of interactions normally. This difference is in large part explainable by the activation of cultural forces that occurs during a crisis. When you are focused on activating those forces all the time, you get that “special” level of performance all the time. 

How does your organisation fare?

Jeffrey Tobias

About Jeffrey Tobias

Dr Tobias is an accomplished innovation consultant and entrepreneurship strategist, drawing expertise from the academic, entrepreneurial and corporate worlds. Jeffrey’s commercial and business experience is particularly focussed on lean startup, design thinking and leadership. Prior to The Strategy Group, Jeffrey was Cisco’s Global Lead for Innovation in the Internet Business Solutions Group helping Fortune Global 500 companies improve customer experience and grow revenue by transforming how they do business.
Jeffrey is a professor of innovation and entrepreneurship teaching MBA students at the Australian Graduate School of Business at the University of New South Wales. An active angel investor, Jeffrey is on the board of various well-known startups.

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Managing Director, The Strategy Group

Dr Tobias is an accomplished innovation consultant and entrepreneurship strategist, drawing expertise from the academic, entrepreneurial and corporate worlds. Jeffrey’s commercial and business experience is particularly focussed on lean startup, design thinking and leadership. Prior to The Strategy Group, Jeffrey was Cisco’s Global Lead for Innovation in the Internet Business Solutions Group helping Fortune Global 500 companies improve customer experience and grow revenue by transforming how they do business.
Jeffrey is a professor of innovation and entrepreneurship teaching MBA students at the Australian Graduate School of Business at the University of New South Wales. An active angel investor, Jeffrey is on the board of various well known startups. Jeffrey’s corporate background includes leading global innovation strategy at Cisco, working with large corporates such as Adobe, Westpac, Telstra, Woolworths, and Perpetual.

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