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Actions speak louder than words – How are you aligning behind your culture?

20th April 2017

Culture

In a recent Deloitte survey Culture and Engagement was the number one topic organisations are trying to tackle. 86% of respondents stated leadership was one of their most important areas to address.

What would you say?

Do you see the two being linked in anyway?

For me there is a clear link. One drives the other. If you want to drive the culture you need to understand it or it will drive you.

As a leader it’s not what you say that matters. It’s whether your actions back up your words. You are on show all of the time. People are watching you in everything you do; how you walk into the office, go for a coffee, greet people who enter your office space and how you interact in meetings.

You set the tone and this, in essence, is part of culture.

The reason most people struggle with culture is because it is intangible. You can’t get hold of it. It’s the air you breathe, the soup you swim in. When you ‘fit in’ it feels natural. When you don’t it feels uncomfortable and it’s often hard to determine why.

Executives struggle to define what organisational culture is. This article provides the perspective of 25 executives ranging from ‘the soul of the company’ to ‘what is valued and rewarded’.

All are valid and the question for me is:

  • Do you understand the essence of your culture?
  • What drives it?
  • Where do you as a leader and organisation align behind it and where do you contradict it?

The culture of your organisation can be seen in how you reward people, develop leaders, recruit people, the office environment and the processes you have in place to get things done.

Does your culture enable or block your strategy?

A strategy that is aligned to your culture can only reap benefits. You are more likely to engage employees, customers, stakeholders and drive profitability. Where strategy and culture are misaligned you are more likely to struggle with customer retention, employee engagement and the delivery of your strategy.

The truth is, it’s easier to get a handle on your culture than you think. It can be measured. It will involve your time and looking in the mirror to determine how much you reinforce the culture that may be inhibiting you. However, if you believe that leadership is a continuous process of learning and development you’re up for the job!

If you want to know more about how culture can be measured drop me a line and we can chat.

“We can’t chart a new course until we find out where we are, how we came to that point and where we want to go.”

Brene Brown

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