5 Steps For Growing Your Desired Corporate Culture
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Transforming Organizational Culture: Growing And Cultivation

Growing your desired corporate culture takes intention, planning, time, attention, and responding to conditions. Together, Tor Eneroth and I have over 30 years of professional experience working with organizational culture. We’ve learned that there is no prescriptive linear way to work with culture, yet there are steps you can take to put you on the journey to a high-performance culture.

eBook Release: Transforming Culture In Larger Organizations
eBook Release
Transforming Culture In Larger Organizations
Discover key learnings, smart exercises, and 3 great case studies that will help you identify your next steps in fostering a vibrant, high-performing work culture.

Leadership Commitment

corporate culture

The leadership team should develop a compelling shared reason for working with culture. This group should have a clear picture of where they are and where they want to go. And they need to understand the current culture and have a shared vision of the desired corporate culture.

All members of the team should develop self-awareness and know their values, purpose, personality, behaviors, and impact on the people around them. Each leader should also understand how she or he aligns with the desired organizational values and culture.

Develop a strategy and process to share your corporate culture, and involve all your managers. The strategy should include programs for managers to increase their own personal awareness as well as expectations about their behaviors.

Roles For Supporting Corporate Culture

Roles for Supporting culture

Just as you have leaders responsible for HR, finance, and communication, you also need a leader to address the cultural journey and ensure that it is taking place. Someone must be assigned to the role of Culture Manager—it’s not going to take care of itself. Established departments are often at capacity with other strategic objectives and may have difficulty taking on another dimensional responsibility.

It is also vital that this role works across all departments and divisions to develop and care for the ongoing transformation of the corporate culture. Candidates for this role need particular experience and training to execute the culture initiatives effectively. In addition to the Culture Manager, other employees throughout the organization should be trained to support the culture initiatives.

Defining And Growing Your Corporate Culture

Defining and Growing Your Culture

Many leaders think culture is created by defining core values and implementing them. It’s so much more than that. The real work is to align the different aspects of your culture. Creating your desired culture should be engaging, tangible, and visible in daily interactions. It requires a systematic approach to make this happen, including:

  • Create a shared mission and vision.
  • Measure your culture.
  • Define wanted behaviors/actions.
  • Handle dysfunction.
  • Align strategy and culture.
  • Schedule time for continuous dialogue.

Structural Alignment

Structural Aligment

You must consistently work on corporate culture with various parts of the organization—including HR, communications, and strategy—in addition to the top leadership team. Collaborating on culture is extremely important and easily missed. You need to ensure that the structures and systems of your culture and the communications about it are aligned.

Structures, policies, procedures, and incentives reflect the value systems of the current leaders and the institutional legacy of past leaders. They dictate what behaviors are acceptable and encouraged as well as what ones are unacceptable and discouraged.

The following are examples of some of the most important policies, procedures, and programs that should reflect the organization’s espoused values: decision-making processes, hiring, employee evaluation, leadership development, coaching culture, brand promise, and cultural artifacts and communications.

Follow-Up And Learning

Follow up and LearningTransforming corporate culture is an iterative process. Building feedback loops for learning and growth is one of the most commonly forgotten steps in the journey. These actions will help you learn where to focus your attention and let you know when you need to correct your course:

  • Daily feedback
  • Reflection and “lessons learned” meetings
  • Recognition, celebration, and rewards
  • Quarterly culture report
  • Rolling three-month plan
  • Culture development plan
  • Follow-up culture assessment

This is a beginning rather than an ending. It’s a starting point and something for you to continuously nurture.

To read more about how to create a high-performing team and organization, download the eBook Transforming Culture In Larger Organizations. The lessons apply not only to organizations, but for any teams seeking meaningful change.

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