Key Steps to Shape Your Corporate Culture

Key Steps to Shape Your Corporate Culture
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Where Corporate Culture Fits
For some, workplace culture can be overwhelming.  Savvy business leaders understand the importance of culture in terms of business performance and employee engagement. They fully recognize that their strategy (the WHAT) must go through their people (the WHO) and their workplace culture (the HOW) to be successfully executed. To create an effective foundation, you need to know how to shape your corporate culture.

It’s the magic of organizational alignment where the three pillars of an organization (strategy, talent, and culture) come together to create higher performance.

Corporate Culture
We define culture as the way people, think, behave, and interact; and we know that people’s work environment has a significant impact on how they get work done. Sound complicated? Hang on—there’s   good news.

As a leader looking to improve business performance, you can design and shape your corporate culture to support the WHAT and WHO you need to succeed.

Three Steps to Shape Your Corporate Culture

  1. Create Strategic Clarity
    It is hard to effectively shape your corporate culture if you do not know where the company is headed and why.  Before beginning any cultural work, savvy leaders ensure high levels of strategic clarity.  They ensure that the leadership team is fully aligned in terms of vision, mission, values, target clients, unique value proposition, and big bets.

    Strategic clarity sets the context for the type of culture you need to meet your objectives.  Do not get fooled into trying to change your culture until everyone agrees that your strategy is clear enough to act.

    If you want to know where you stand, test your strategy here.
  2. Evaluate the Current Situation
    Once you have defined where you are headed, you need to examine what you have by objectively assessing your current culture.   Where does your culture align with your strategy and where is your workplace culture misaligned?

    The strengths and weaknesses of your culture become the backdrop of strategy implementation and talent planning. Be sure to factor in accommodations for growth and change. You will need flexibility to meet unexpected challenges from market shifts to new competition and global threats.
  3. Focus the Effort
    To really have a noticeable impact, the third step requires prioritization. You will, no doubt, come up with a list of multiple behaviors you’d like to tweak, but it’s important to choose one or two that will have the greatest effect. Then devise a system of measurement that will keep you on target and demonstrate progress.

    You will know that you are headed in the right direction when your efforts are concise, agreed-upon, persuasive, regularly repeated, modeled by leaders, and supported by internal systems and processes.

The Bottom Line
Though the idea of culture change may be daunting, it can be far more straightforward as long as you take the right approach. Be clear about where you want to go and what it will take culturally to get there. Your workforce and your business results will thank you.

To learn more about how to shape your corporate culture, download  The 3 Levels of Culture that You Must Get Right to Create Higher Performance

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