Business and culture strategies must meet for employees to deliver on the brand promise and, thus, for the company to be successful. There is lots of superficiality and lip service around culture out there, and it’s time to shift rhetoric to results. I’ve “simplified” the process down to 4 steps:
Formulate or revisit/update org’s mission, vision, and values, which serve as indispensable foundations for periodic updates of the 3-5 year Business Strategy and Culture Strategy. Most companies do a decent job at business strategy but give little to no strategic thought to the culture they also need to cultivate to engage, empower, and motivate employees to effectively execute on it. We help org’s define culture non-negotiables and goals, broken down into specific behaviors that align with it. Clear and specific codification needs to encompass the high-level strategies, implementation goals, and expected/accepted behaviors that support all of it.
Everything from step #1 needs to be communicated clearly and broadly throughout the org to set and manage expectations and support accountability. Internal communication is critical not only from the top down but also across, upward, and sideways. External communication of appropriate aspects of #1 are key to inform and sustain branding, marketing, recruiting/hiring, investor relations, and other outside constituents. All messaging should be consistent and deliberate. The communicate phase also includes more informal ways in which people communicate, hold meetings, give and receive feedback, and manage others.
Coaching is such a critical ingredient to success that it is its own part of the system! Coaching is so much more than a competency; it’s a mindset, a way of leading people and projects, and an element of succession planning. And not enough managers and leaders coach. Instead, they tell, give orders, micromanage. Setting people up for success as an impactful coach and then getting out of their way is a critical element of org success. We have a simple, repeatable, and relevant framework we teach to make coaching easy for anyone at any level, in any industry, in any functional area, in any geography.
What gets measured, gets done, as the adage says. In this era of big data, many orgs do a lot of measuring, but they don’t always effectively follow it up with the right actions. Based on what we learn from measuring, we should reward, correct, and discipline based on already established accountability, and adjust and pivot on strategies and tactics as necessary. Any changes get codified, communicated, and coached….so these 4 stages are constantly ongoing as we go through real time feedback loops derived from communication, coaching, and measuring!