Corporate cultures are the very essence of organisations – commercial,societal, charitable, religious and sporting.
They are the bonding force which adheres, influences, directs and supportsindividual departments, operations, teams and integrated cohorts. Conversely,a toxic culture can be the catalyst and very reason for dysfunction,dismantling and destruction. Few strategies can overcome such characteristics.
Conspicuous and promoted cultures attract attention, customers, clients,associates and prospective team-members. In each instance, self-selectionaccelerates processes and enhances outcomes.
Cultures are part of the “soft science” of entities. They seldom define anddocument what is right and what is wrong. However, understanding that which isappropriate and how things are done within an entity are clear, concise,consistent, celebrated and cemented in the behaviours, perceptions, decisionsand support initiatives of all team-members. In short, they are unwrittenstrategies.
Such cohesion and integration contributes to improved and optimal efficiencyand effectiveness. There is little need for second-guessing the “best” or mostappropriate actions.
A key, significant and strategic consequence is greater loyalty among clients.Expectations are developed, and, when met, are applauded and rewarded.
Indeed, culture establishes templates and frameworks for strategies, tacticsand actions. In many instances, their documentation is an art form, whichrequires discipline.
Accordingly, measuring, monitoring, transparency, accountability are readilyand, usually, intuitively applied, refined and developed.
Consensus is more readily achievable and sustainable with strong corporatecultures, regardless of the size and complexity of an entity.
Free, open and two-way communication is facilitated and accepted, leading togreater malleability and dynamism. Life cycles are extended, relevancesustained and resonance consistently attained.
Recognition of, respect for and adherence to the underlying and overridingbeliefs and values of the culture are instrumental in stabilising workforcesand team-membership. That is, singularly, a huge cost saving for businesses.
Stability, and often consistency, are valued by existing and prospectiveclients, who are assured and reassured by continuity. Fulfilment of theprinciples of “The Doctrine of No Surprises” is more readily attainable. Gapsbetween service promises and delivery are narrowed, if not eliminated.
That contributes to improved customer satisfaction, and ultimately, tosustainable competitive advantage.
Corporate culture should be foremost on the agenda of Board meetings,gatherings of senior management, team-member sessions and client functions.Ongoing refinements are possible and probable.
Pride in entities, their brand names, products, services, applications andpeople is often founded on strong, positive culture values.
People are inclined to strive for, contribute to, support, share andinstinctively promote positive core values. They seldom do so for strategies,tactics and campaigns.
There is seldom the need to “pull people into line” when a positive cultureexists. They are instinctively inclined to “fall into line”, and feel good indoing so.
BRANDED FOR GOOD
On balance and on reflection, good brand practices and strategies are foundedon corporate values, and the enunciation of innate values and beliefs.
In short, competitive advantages are seldom anchored on features. Rather, itis the advantages, benefits and rewards accorded through good corporatecultures.
There is much to gain from refining corporate narratives, internal andexternal. A laudable and logical focus is corporate culture. That in itself isa discerning strategy.
AND NOW FOR THE OTHER SIX ELEMENTS
Corporate culture is a central driving force. However, it is one of sevenelements that enable excellence to be achieved and maintained.
The other six elements are influenced by, and contribute to, the unifyingforce of a strong, positive culture.
Cause:Effect relationships flow two ways. Hence, a single focus on culture, orits relationship with strategies is insufficient.
The challenge, while large, is digestible. Have a good breakfast.
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