4 Must Have’s for a Strategically Aligned Culture

aligned arrow in the sky Strategically Aligned Culture

Do You Have a Strategically Aligned Culture?
Once your business strategy is clear and compelling, it is your job as a leader to understand, shape, and align your corporate culture to drive your key strategic initiatives forward.  We call this a Strategically Aligned Culture and it is no easy task.

While most senior executives agree that a sound strategic plan is imperative, few agree on what to do next.  In fact, less than ten percent of even well-crafted strategies are effectively executed.  For most fast growing and evolving companies, the biggest obstacles to success have little to do with designing a winning strategy.

When we look under the hood of many organizations, we find that they are not firing on all cylinders. They are not performing at their peak.  And their leaders have not created the workplace culture or strategic clarity necessary to get sustainable results now or in the future.

Culture is Often the First Roadblock
We define culture is how things truly get done in an organization.  It includes the underlying values and assumptions that drive key business practices and behaviors. Many still mistakenly believe that culture is “soft HR-type stuff” because it does not appear to have a quantifiable impact on performance.  Successful organizations and leaders know better.

Just listen to Dwight Howard, the former All-Pro Center for the Los Angeles Lakers, who complimented the culture of the L.A. Clippers, his cross-town rivals, and criticized his own team’s lack of chemistry following a disappointing loss.  Do your employees feel as though they are part of a winning team?

Culture Matters
Chemistry and culture are just as significant in the corporate world as in the world of sports.

  • A recent Harvard Business School research report described how an effective culture can account for up to half of the differential in performance between organizations in the same business.
  • Our own organizational alignment research found that cultural factors account for 40% of the difference between high and low growth companies in terms of revenue growth, profitability, customer loyalty, and employee engagement.

This should be a powerful motivator for all leaders.

Organizational Cultures Exist by Design or by Default. 
As a leader, if you do not understand, shape and align your culture and strategy, you and your organization will not performing at your peak.  Jet Blue President & CEO, David Barger, said it well:

  • “We got our board together four years ago to discuss best practices and strategy.  We ended up with 23 objectives and 4 pathways.  Fast forward and the 23 became 14 in year two and then 10 in year three.  Now they are crystallized into 2 – culture and offerings.”

Not only did “culture” ascend to its rightful place toward the top, but the leadership team did themselves a big favor by narrowing and simplifying their strategic focus.

4 Must Have’s for a Strategically Aligned Culture
If you want a strategically aligned culture to drive peak performance, start with these four tips that are based on over thirty years of research with high performing organizations.  Be sure your company culture is:

  1. Clear and Modeled
    To impact performance, the desired culture must be clearly articulated to employees and consistently monitored, modeled, and rewarded by the company’s leaders.
  2. Aligned and Believed
    For culture to matter, it must not only tie directly to your strategy, but employees must also believe that it is a key driver in helping them to achieve their objectives.
  3. Experienced and Consistent
    To be effective, employees must experience your company’s desired culture on a regular basis.  A strong culture should ruthlessly defend against behaviors and actions that do not match how you want things to get done.
  4. Soft and Hard
    On the “soft side,” meaningful cultures make employees proud and motivated to do their best.  On the “hard side,” performance-based cultures ensure that substandard performers (when given the required support) must improve relatively quickly if they wish to remain employed.

The Bottom Line
Strategy relies upon culture to create the environment for success.   Great leaders know that a strategy without the right talent and culture to implement it is just wishful thinking.  Great leaders strategically and systemically shape a high performance culture by being clear and consistent about how they want things to get done.

Is your performance environment driving your strategy forward?

To learn more about how to align your culture with your strategy, download The 3 Levels of Culture that You Must Get Right to Create High Performance

 

Comments are closed.

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.

Jeff Rangel
Director of HR

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.

Emily Couey
Director of Human Resources

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

Hyperion

I consistently look to LSA Global when I need custom programs put together for my client groups. I can always count on LSA to do a thorough needs analysis and to put together spectacular programs that are well received. Their management development and performance management expertise and professionalism make them one of my top-rated learning and development partners.

Stephanie Webb
HR Program Manager

Rambus

The Managing Virtual Teams program was extremely valuable. Your consultant/ facilitator’s fundamental knowledge of Synopsys as a company provided an incredible base to build upon while tackling the complications of managing and working with globally distributed teams. My team walked away walked away with highly useful practices and tools. It was an excellent use of our time.

Debra Martucci
Vice President, Information Technology

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.

Kortney Riddle
HR Manager

Thank you to LSA Global for their partnership and support in helping us to design and roll-out our valuable management development training program. I personally have partnered with LSA Global at four of my previous companies. It continues to be a delight working with LSA. We look forward to partnering with them at Blackhawk Networks for future training and consulting needs.

Suzanne Kinner
VP Human Resources

Blackhawk Network

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.

Jim Elliott
Senior Marketing Manager

Samsung

“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.”

Sally Buchannan
VP Human Resources

LSA exceeded all my expectations. We interviewed 7 potential training and consulting partners and selected LSA due to their expertise, flexibility, and breadth and depth of solutions. We were able to construct a management training course from the modules most appropriate to our needs, and are able to provide additional training from their well developed portfolio of experts. Our managers galvanized as a team throughout the session and are better prepared for the rigors of a competitive market.

Mitch Mandich
CEO

Edify

Each program is preceded by an assessment of the participants. The course is then designed to fit the specific parameters and needs of the group. The highly interactive delivery is provided by recognized experts in their fields. On the spot coaching is provided during the program and each participant receives individual follow-up after the course. Courses can be delivered in-person or virtually. Given the nature of Cisco’s business and the way we operate, these remote workshops are a must for anyone who joins our company. Their work is eye opening. Great content and fantastic delivery.

Frank J. Kuypers
Business Development Manager

LSA helped to meet the needs of my teams within a very narrow timeframe. My team walked away with highly useful management tools and practices. LSA saved us time in delivering the right solution for our specific needs.

Sandeep Kumar
Director, Software Engineering, EPG

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.

Mary Johnston
HR Manager, BU Radiology Informatics

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.

Chris Wells
Vice President, HR and IT

We partnered with LSA Global to help us invest in our people in the areas of performance coaching, diversity, and inclusion. They focused on helping us succeed and were very flexible in meeting our specific needs. LSA Global exceeded my expectations from a speed, quality, and value standpoint. I would recommend LSA Global to anyone looking for a true business partner.

Anita Luckinbill
Director, Human Resources

Evaluate your Performance

Toolkits

Toolkits

Download key published insights and tools from industry experts highlighting best practices in the areas of talent, strategy and culture.

More

Health Checks

Health Checks

Want to know how you stack up against leading organizations?  Receive a complimentary benchmarking analysis courtesy of an LSA Expert.

More

Whitepapers

Whitepapers

Get up to speed on timely solutions critical to your business. Published by LSA Experts based upon client feedback and key industry trends.

More

Methodology

Methodologies

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.

More

Blogs

Stay up to do date with the latest information on how we help high growth companies align their culture and talent with strategy.

More

Case Studies

Client Case Studies

Real world consulting and training approaches from LSA projects, providing insights on how your company can outperform the competition.

More