This business update I want to respond to a few questions submitted on our blog. Both questions have to do with corporate culture. The questions posed were:
1. Why is the corporate culture so important?2. Can the culture be changed or does it simply evolve of its own volition?While there are some slight differences in definitions of corporate culture, most experts agree that it is the shared “taken-for-granted” assumptions, beliefs, values, expectations and rules that members of a work team or organization hold. This is essentially the guiding light for team interaction, expectations and decision making. The culture is revealed by studying the relationships of the members.Changing the corporate culture must emanate from the top. The leadership of an organization such as the CEO and the senior management team is the single most critical success factor in a culture change effort. Today corporate leaders have to invest significant amounts of time and energy into a culture change effort and they must personally live, and model the new cultural ethos. Members of the team CAN NOT change without the leadership first changing. Let me say that again: members of the team CAN NOT change without the leadership first changing. This is absolutely essential. In fact when leaders DO choose to “trade-up” their values and belief systems, change often magically occurs.But in order for the cultural change to take hold within the organization, the members must be re-educated on what is important to the future of the company and how to make decisions that are consistent with that purpose. Therefore the change effort must be accompanied by clear vision, mission and value statements in providing direction and behavioral guidelines for the new culture. Again these must go beyond words cast into a plaque that is hung on a wall. It must be evidenced by daily actions which fall in line with the values espoused.While working with companies to assist them in creating market growth we often find that the core issues of the company’s value systems must be addressed. In these cases we will often bring in our associates from Fifth Wave Leadership. They have worked with organizations large and small to affect cultural change quickly and effectively. In fact the CEO of this organization, Morrie Shechtman is someone who often works with the leadership of our clients assisting them in evaluating and implementing change from the top. Morrie has graciously allowed us to offer to those in our network a greatly reduced rate in working with CEOs and their team. If this is something that interests you please contact me and I will arrange to get you in touch with Morrie directly.Again, the corporate culture is critical to the growth and continued health of your organization. I urge you to invest your time and resources in discovering how you might create change and ensure growth and leadership in your industry.