A Powerful Corporate Culture Can Propel a Strategy Forward
A powerful corporate culture may indeed be difficult to change but, if you want to boost business and people performance, it may be just what you need to do. Corporate culture has been misconstrued recently to mean everything from being a “happy” or “fun” work environment to a great place to work. We define a strong corporate culture differently.
A Powerful Corporate Culture Defined
We believe culture drives the majority of behavior at an organization. Your workplace culture symbolizes the heartbeat of your company. It represents the set of norms, values, underlying assumptions and practices that guide workforce behavior and it is unique to every company.
More simply, culture is the way business gets done on a day-to-day basis.
A Powerful Corporate Culture Accounts for 40% of the Difference
Our organizational alignment research found that culture accounts for 40% of the difference between high and low performance in terms of revenues, profits, customers, leadership effectiveness and employee engagement.
Can a Workplace Culture Be Too Powerful?
The short answer is Yes! The longer answer is it depends. We measure culture on three levels. For two of the three levels it is difficult to make the culture too powerful. For the other level, too strong of a culture can spell disaster.
1. Cultural Health
Think of organizational health as the corporate values and behaviors that are consistently lived across an organization. In general, organizations strive to be healthy, and people want to work in a healthy environment.
While it is difficult for an organization to be too healthy, a company must be healthy enough to set the stage for a strong corporate culture that drives high performance.
2. Cultural Performance
The next ingredient of a strong corporate culture is your performance environment. We believe that people change when their environment changes. We also believe it is a leader’s job to create the circumstances to consistently get the most out of their people in a way that is aligned with the organization’s core values, behaviors and strategies.
At this level of culture, it is certainly possible for the culture to be “too powerful.”
In fact if you push for greater levels of performance without having commensurate levels of clarity, meaning and accountability, your performance pressure will most likely create decreased performance. A leader applying the wrong amount of pressure in the wrong ways can render an entire organization ineffective.
Great leaders know when and where to apply performance pressure to get the most out of their people.
3. Cultural Alignment
The third, and often the least effectively used, cultural level is the alignment of your culture with your strategy. The goal is to design a purposeful culture that is 100% in line with moving your business forward.
Similar to cultural health, it is difficult to make this level too strong in terms of cultural alignment.
The Four Steps to Create a Powerful Corporate Culture that Is Aligned with Your Strategy
1. Define the Desired Culture
2. Assess the Current Culture
3. Create a Plan to Close the Key Culture Gaps
4. Close the Key Culture Gaps
If you want to learn more about the different levels of a powerful corporate culture, download 3 Levels of a High Performance Culture Strategy
LSA’s Employee Engagement Consulting and Survey work has provided critical visibility into: how well our people are holding up under the general economic environment, as well as, the specific challenges that face biotechnology companies in their efforts to discover and develop new medicines; their level of alignment and commitment to XOMA’s Vision and mission critical strategies; how leadership practices and management systems support an environment that engender commitment, and the specific actions that our leaders can take to improve on areas that are important to our people. I highly recommend LSA’s employee engagement solutions.
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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.
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We have been able to utilize LSA’s extensive network of top-notch resources to leverage our investment in employee development. The result has been the cost effective and highly efficient delivery of quality educational and management training programs.
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LSA is an instrumental training outsourcing partner in helping us to build management capacity and strategically invest in our people. Their flexibility, depth, and breadth of expertise allows us to deliver top quality solutions that are directly tied to key business plans. Their ability to custom design, deliver, and evaluate our Management Curriculum has been excellent. They are true business partners and a pleasure to work with.
Margaret M. Mader
Vice President, Human Resources
What a personal and professional pleasure it has been to Partner with LSA. They are truly a strategic partner with Wyse. For more than 5 years, LSA has been engaged in delivering various training and development solutions for Wyse, from custom on-site programs targeting specific core competencies, to working individually with clients to build job skills, and offering invaluable services to me and my team as we continue to build our learning programs. LSA’s representatives do more than sell a product, they offer a full service solution: they understand our business, our strategic initiatives, and the needs of our customers.
Director of HR
“We turned to LSA to help us custom design and deliver a leadership and management development curriculum to help drive performance. They have done an excellent job diagnosing the business situation, designing an approach that fits our culture, and delivering a first class solution.”
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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.
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The refreshing thing about LSA is that they focus on understanding our business situation and helping me succeed instead of selling a product. With over 150 experts, they are an invaluable resource that helps me deliver higher quality results faster. I recommend them to anyone looking to improve the performance of their workforce.
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In the Next Generation Management Development courses, I was trained with skills and tools that have made me and my team more productive, motivated, and successful at communicating with other departments.
Firmware Engineering Supervisor
We value our relationship with LSA Global. We came to LSA because we wanted to improve overall behavioral based interviewing capabilities of our managers to increase the probability of both hiring top talent and future leaders. LSA designed a highly customized solution for our business and culture. We are currently rolling out this solution to our leaders. I would highly recommend LSA Global as a top quality resource.
HR Project Manager - Training & Development, PHR
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Fortune 500 Financial Services Company
Director of Infrastructure & Technology
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