A Misaligned Workplace Culture Creates Problems
Once you accept the fact that workplace culture matters (and matters a lot) when you are trying to build a high performing organization, then you can focus your attention on what culture gaps might exist. And you should care about a misaligned workplace culture because it increases the chances that your top employees may become disengaged and quit.
The Definition of Workplace Culture
Workplace culture is how things truly get done in an organization. It is the way people think, behave and work. It includes the behaviors, systems, and practices that drive key business decisions – especially in leaders and in who they hire, fire and promote. Your business and people strategies must go through your workplace culture to be successfully implemented.
Why Culture Matters
Peter Drucker famously said “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Research agrees with him:
The Definition of a Misaligned Workplace Culture
We define a misaligned workplace culture as a work environment in which “how things get done” is in not in complete harmony with “what needs to get done” to execute the business and people strategies. A misaligned workplace culture makes it more difficult to get the right things accomplished in the right way. In a misaligned workplace culture there is a lot of friction, resistance and dysfunction.
Conversely, our research found that a well aligned workplace culture can improve productivity by as much as 25%. What impact would this have on your organization?
Why Workplace Culture is Often Misaligned
The creation of a strategic plan consists of a straightforward set of tasks than can typically be described, documented, and completed. When executing these goals, however, the relative simplicity of creating the plan quickly morphs into something significantly more complex, most notably because of culture.
Goals rarely fail because defined structural obstacles were not overcome (although many plans fail to recognize these obstacles). Plans too often fail because organizations haven’t adequately defined or aligned their cultural business journey to executing their vision. Culture is hard to change because many organizations have a highly fragmented set of underlying belief systems which determine how to interpret and accomplish these goals.
The critical beliefs required to size up and execute the goals (what we call the secret sauce) are rarely articulated, measured, or purposeful.
Warning Signs of a Misaligned Workplace Culture
The first warning sign of a misaligned workplace culture is when the basic building blocks of leadership – trust and accountability – are lacking. Misaligned workplace cultures lack confidence in their leaders to follow through, make necessary changes and to act in alignment with the company’s core values. A misaligned workplace culture also lacks the necessary levels of pride, confidence, transparency, openness and focus to engender the trust required to create high levels of engagement and performance.
The second warning sign of a misaligned workplace culture is a lack of clarity regarding what each individual and team is expected to accomplish and how they are expected to think and behave in achieving those accomplishments. When beliefs are in misalignment and disconnected to the strategy, it is difficult to hold individuals accountable for results or behaviors.
How to Create Culture and Strategy Alignment
If you are afraid that you may have a misaligned workplace culture, here are four steps to get you started in the right direction:
1. Uncover the Current Culture
Your first step is to assess your current corporate culture to get a clear and accurate picture of the way things are getting done and why. This is very different than your aspired culture and desired corporate values. You want the unvarnished truth of what it is like to work at your company on a day-to-day basis.
2. Identify the Necessary Culture
Your next step is to agree upon the workplace culture that is required to best execute your strategy. We have identified 10 dimensions of an aligned workplace culture which provide a framework to define and align the appropriate continuum of beliefs needed to best execute your strategic goals and make it easier to get things done. Using the unaligned-to-aligned continuum approach allows everyone to be right, thus breaking down a critical resistance faced with most change efforts.
3. Agree Upon the Critical Few Culture Gaps and Next Steps
Not all cultural dimensions are of equal importance in terms of strategy execution. Leaders must agree on the one or two cultural shifts that will have the greatest positive impact on moving the strategy forward for your unique situation in a way that makes sense.
4. Deploy an Aligned Culture
Once you identify the one or two areas to create strategy and culture alignment, it is time to identify and prepare culture champions, to create short- and long-term action plans to create alignment, and to establish and track accountability for culture and strategy alignment targets.
The Bottom Line
If you want your company to perform at its peak, you need to create a culture that aligns with your strategy. That’s the way to accelerate strategy execution and outperform your peers. Creating alignment between strategy and culture empowers everyone to become more interdependent and act with a more unified mindset.
To learn more about how to align your culture with your strategy, download How to Build a Purposeful and Aligned Corporate Culture.
LSA’s approach and ability to bring the best resources to eBay has been a great asset. They really focus on helping us succeed in any way they can and are very flexible in meeting our management and talent needs.
Learning & Development
We have worked with LSA Global for our learning and development needs and have always had great success. They helped us recently with customized Management Workshops that we held for the second time. It was fantastic, and I would highly recommend LSA to anyone that is attempting to get immediate and impactful improvements.
HR Manager, BU Radiology Informatics
I am very impressed with the quality of work and talent. LSA did a great job of listening to my needs and providing the exact management training program expertise I needed to get the job done.
Director, Business Planning & Analysis
SeaTel has found our partnership with LSA Global to be very valuable and beneficial. We turned to LSA to customize a supervisory/leadership solution to meet our needs. LSA delivered a customized top quality solution. I’d recommend LSA Global to any company looking for a best-in-class training and consulting partner.
LSA custom designed a Management Development program that is absolutely “on target” for our technical managers. Their facilitator has done a superb job delivering the material in a way that is fast paced, highly interactive, and fun. She presents practical solutions to the people situations that our managers face every day. I regard LSA as an excellent partner that understands our business needs and a virtual member of our HR department.
Vice President Human Resources
Our company engaged LSA to do a specialized “train the trainer” program, and the consultant’s performance outdid our exceptionally high standards for such a program. Very crucial to the success of this program was the work done upfront to discuss our needs and to interview key members of our organization so that the program specifically met our goals. Our facilitators continue to comment on the success of the program. Thanks also for the follow-up.
Chief Financial Officer
Over the years, both at 3Com and now at Redback, I’ve found LSA Global to be a valuable resource. The recent compliance program that they delivered for Redback’s executive and management team was the right solution, of the highest of quality, and customized to our business and culture. I would highly recommend LSA to any company looking for top quality solutions.
Vice President of Human Resources
LSA has been a tremendous asset to my portfolio, both at my current company and my past company. As an HR leader, I am always looking for ways to find external resources that can provide a solution to our management training needs. LSA does that for me. Their solutions are presented in a much more leadership-oriented manner so as to be crisp, business relevant, and easy to apply right back on the job. I will continue to augment our programs using LSA solutions.
VP of Human Resources
LSA’s customized Effective Presentation Skills program has helped me elevate my presentation skills to the next level. I now have a much greater self-awareness of my presentation skills and can leverage off of my strengths while working to improve upon other areas. I would definitely recommend this solution to anyone for whom business presentations are an integral part of their job.
Senior Marketing Manager
Working with LSA Global has proven to be extremely valuable and worthwhile. LSA understands our business, has deep expertise in content areas, and tailors the programs to deliver great results. The facilitator was extremely knowledgeable about Working Globally with India and her energy and passion made the session interesting, fun, and enjoyable for all that attended. The participants walked away extremely pleased along with highly useful practices and tools. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company that has partners or offices in India.
Human Resources Business Partner
I’ve been associated with LSA for the last 8 years and have found them to be an extremely professional, well managed full service training organization. Since working with LSA, I’ve participated in a number of solutions ranging from Performance Management to Assertiveness Training – I’ve found that the quality of the resources is superior. They are well prepared and have definitely done a considerable amount of pre-work in order to customize our culture and business into the total learning experience – making it most beneficial for our employees.
Human Resource Manager
LSA helped us design and deliver a blended learning solution for our leaders to help drive our growth plans in a way that aligned with our specific culture and values. LSA understood our business, had deep expertise in the content areas, tailored the programs to fit our specific needs, and delivered great results. They constantly strive to deliver business impact and align their solutions with our business initiates, culture, and performance management systems. I highly recommend them to anyone looking to take their leaders to the next level.”
Beth A. Taylor
Vice President of Human Resources
Avon’s success is dependent on strong relationships among our Customers, Representatives, Associates, and outside resources we hire to help us meet our business objectives. We were very pleased with the results from working with LSA Global to design and facilitate a custom program for our events management team. LSA demonstrated responsiveness, flexibility, and an innovative approach to working with us.
Senior Manager, HR Destiny Sales Region
LSA has become the gold standard in team building and management training at Genomic Health! I have a hard time finding facilitators that come close to their level of customization, expertise and experience.
Director of Human Resources
What a refreshing change from the half-baked psycho-babble you normally get from training and consulting organizations. LSA gives you the practical and results-oriented assistance you need to define and reach your goal. They provide a results driven plan – not just a temporary fix. They are great to work with, and even more importantly, they “get it!”
Vice President Human Resources
Download key published insights and tools from industry experts highlighting best practices in the areas of talent, strategy and culture.
Want to know how you stack up against leading organizations? Receive a complimentary benchmarking analysis courtesy of an LSA Expert.
Get up to speed on timely solutions critical to your business. Published by LSA Experts based upon client feedback and key industry trends.
First we identify the key metrics you want to improve. Then we assemble a dedicated team of elite experts who have successfully solved similar problems with similar clients.
Stay up to do date with the latest information on how we help high growth companies align their culture and talent with strategy.
Real world consulting and training approaches from LSA projects, providing insights on how your company can outperform the competition.