Align Culture and Strategy to Grow the Business

Align Culture and Strategy to Grow the Business
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Align Culture and Strategy If You Want To Grow
If you really want high growth and high performance, you must align culture and strategy. The strategy and culture combination is powerful.  Our organizational alignment research found that companies who get aligned:

  • Grow revenue 58% faster
  • Are 72% more profitable
  • Satisfy customers 3.2-to-1
  • Engage employees 16.8-to-1

Cultures Are Not Good or Bad
While we all have our personal preference of work environments, we do not believe that there are “good” or “bad” cultures. While a company’s culture certainly needs to be healthy enough to attract, engage, and retain the top talent, organizational health by itself rarely differentiates one company from another.

The true differentiator in terms of business and people performance is the level of alignment between the business strategy and your corporate culture.

We believe that there are “aligned” and “unaligned” corporate cultures. Simply put, an aligned corporate culture helps strategy execution. An unaligned corporate culture inhibits strategy execution.

Strategy Must Go Through Culture to Get Implemented
Most executives agree that a sound strategic plan is imperative. No real argument there. Where we do run into skeptics is when we maintain that the success of even a well-crafted strategy is doubtful if the organization’s culture is not in alignment with the business plan.  It’s not just about WHAT needs to get done; it’s about HOW you do it and WHY you do it.

Your corporate culture and strategy must be aligned to grow gracefully over the long haul.

The Definition of Workplace Culture
We define workplace culture as how and why things truly get accomplished in an organization. It is how people think, behave, and work. This includes the known and unspoken corporate values that drive key business practices and behaviors — especially in leaders who are the role models and in the employees they hire and promote.

Culture also represents what a new employee needs to learn to be “accepted” as a full-fledged member of the team and what makes the company “feel and act” like its unique self. When people behave in ways that are off the grid of a company’s cultural norms, they become very visible in their out-of-sync non-conformance.


What an Aligned Culture Provides
An aligned corporate culture just makes everything easier — changes are met with less resistance, productivity tools are implemented faster, and employees collaborate more harmoniously. It is said that when strategy and culture are well aligned, there can be productivity gains by as much as two hours per day per employee.

Corporate Culture Matters
And is some more data for those who still mistakenly believe that workplace culture is “soft HR-type stuff” that can be ignored because it does not have a quantifiable impact on business performance.

  • A Harvard Business School research report found that an effective culture can account for up to 50% of the difference in performance between organizations in the same industry.
  • Our proprietary organizational alignment research at 410 companies across eight industries found that cultural factors account for 40% of the difference between high- and low-performing companies.

These facts should be a powerful motivator to set out to define and create an organizational culture that fits your company and provides the platform for your strategy and your people to thrive.

Six High Performance Culture Warning Signs
Assess your corporate culture and think carefully about whether your culture may be getting in the way of peak performance. Here are six high performance culture warning signs:

  1. There is an ambiguous definition of success or failure at the company, team, or individual levels
  2. Non-improving low performers are allowed to “stick around” for too long
  3. People are unclear if “the way” they are being asked to operate creates success
  4. Performance metrics are perceived as confusing, conflicting, unfair, or unbalanced
  5. There is an untimely or restricted flow of information across the company
  6. The way work gets done in terms of customers, decisions, processes, and behaviors is misaligned with the go-to-market strategy for success

The Bottom Line
If you notice any of the high performance culture warning signs listed above in your organization, it is high time you invest in improving and aligning your culture with your business strategy.  Why?  Because culture and strategy must be aligned to grow the business in a way that makes sense.

To learn how to align culture and strategy to grow download How to Create a Purposeful and Aligned Culture to Take Your Business and Your People to the Next Level

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