After this tumultuous period of time with the pandemic, leaders can be forgiven for taking their eyes off the ball when it comes to all things culture, instead focussing on keeping their business afloat. As a “new normal” begins to take shape, however, issues that have been neglected will come to the fore, with potentially harmful consequences.
Culture permeates more aspects of business and working life more than managers realise; from day-to-day employee wellbeing through to major projects such as digital transformation.
We have collated the eight most important challenges that effect culture, and ultimately, the performance of your business.
How many resonate with you?
Managing your Business through Covid and Brexit
Leaders in the 2020 decade will need to be able to make solid, complicated judgements in the face of uncertainty, ambiguity, and fast changing conditions — the future has never been more unpredictable.
At the same time, as employees navigate blurred lines of cross-functional working, fluid operating structures, and a rising number of stakeholders, the demand for excellent leadership of your people is higher than ever.
We discussed leadership through difficult times in more detail here.
Leaders naturally want to hold on to what’s fuelled their organisation’s success. But with rapid growth comes culture strain; established ways of working are often outgrown and need to be adapted. Management practices need to change, as does employee experience and expectations.
Unless you revisit and refresh the culture to support the future, the very culture that has fuelled your success today could ultimately squash its potential. It’s not about throwing everything away, but being clear about the culture needed to support the future growth of the business, evolving your culture and supporting your people on the journey.
We talk more about scaling up your busines in this blog.
To effectively incorporate innovation, companies must adjust their mindsets, behaviours, and ways of working at all levels of the workforce. Without this collective shift you will fall short of the intended benefits from your investment in innovation strategy or technology – technology alone will not effectively shift the operating model.
Similarly, your innovations are unlikely to reach their full potential unless you have established an innovation culture, in which everyone contributes to gathering insight, developing new ideas, and testing and learning new goods, services, or solutions.
This blog discussed the need for innovation culture in more detail.
Mergers & Acquisitions
When two or more businesses join forces, not only are there structural and functional changes required but also an alignment of the cultures.
Aligning cultures stretches is about re-designing work practices in alignment with new values, which means applying the culture lens to policies, processes, systems, governance and decision making, and ultimately to any organisational restructures that need to be completed.
We discuss culture in the context of M&A in more detail here.
High Performance Teams or Departments
Building a high-performing culture remains difficult, but the demands for ever-increasing performance and productivity remain at the top of the leadership agenda. Energetic, ambitious, and capable people are valuable assets, of course – but they can compete for influence, resources, and promotion by representing various departments, products, lines of business, or geographies.
An effective culture in this scenario is about maximising everyone’s contributions so you can achieve game-changing performance and results.
Diversity & Inclusion
The sense of belonging and wellbeing your employees have directly correlates to how happy your employees are at work. The diversity of your employees also heavily contributes to how innovative you are as a business.
Employee well-being, both mental and physical, is currently a top priority for employers. Many consider this to be the starting point for any organisation looking to get the most out of their teams and employees. Employee well-being depends on work settings – primarily a psychologically safe environment – that bring out the best in everyone.
We talk more about diversity and inclusion in this blog post.
Complex Company Strategy
We understand that not all businesses and situations are the same and some are definitely more complex than others. That complexity may come from multiple geographies or even locations in the same country, from parent company vs subsidiary dynamics, a legacy of M&A or IPO, regulatory environments or from recapitalisation.
Culture change in these scenarios is not impossible; it just requires different thinking and the use of a range of techniques, all of which need to be underpinned by a methodology that provides the structure and means of keeping the change on track.
Widespread adoption of remote working by organisations during Covid has highlighted the potential for how different physical working arrangements could and probably will be in the future.
Businesses may challenge the need and cost to retain a physical workspace. Staff will also consider whether working more remotely might improve their work/life balance by reducing travel time and expense and increasing personal flexibility.
To make remote working sustainable, human, and effective, companies will need to examine and reset their internal culture.
Find out more about navigating engagement from remote teams here.
So, how can we help?
If any of the eight challenges above affect you, you may then want to take a deeper dive into assessing the culture within your business.
Whether you are contemplating a strategic cultural change, or looking to see where the performance bottlenecks might be within your organisation, using the Culture Consultancy Organisation Culture AssessmentTM will help you understand your organisation’s culture and identify what is supporting your strategy and growth. It will also highlight potential internal misalignment or culture blockers that are impacting business performance.
There are many ways in which the insight from the Culture Consultancy Organisation Culture AssessmentTM can be used, including:
- Identifying existing attributes which are helping performance, and those which are hindering.
- Assessing how well the organisation is aligned for delivering against your strategy or transformation (new or existing).
- Identifying immediate untapped performance improvement opportunities.
- Understanding variances across the organisation so you can focus attention on the right areas in order to gain full cultural alignment.
- Demonstrating progress to stakeholders, including shareholders, regulators, the media.
- Identifying mismatches with 3rd party providers which may be impacting your service and/or commercials.
- Providing a baseline measurement for future alignment or change, hence providing you with an ongoing tool for guiding the required culture.
Contact us for help in assessing your culture and defining what is needed for your business to thrive.