Have you ever stopped to consider this question: What role does your organisation’s culture play in your business? You might be surprised at some of the answers you generate from considering this question, and be inspired by the understanding that emerges from your answers.
Just as companies and countries have their creditworthiness evaluated by agencies like Standard and Poors, and Moody’s, organisations can evaluate their ‘cultureworthiness’ against my 4A rating scale.
The Haka and High Performance
As a regular keynote speaker I am always paying attention to which of the points I make during a presentation are having the biggest impact on the audience.
My most popular keynote is on the New Zealand Maori Haka and the lessons it contains for creating high performance company cultures.
The most common question I get asked in workshops, interviews or in Q & A sessions at conferences is; “What is culture?” or “How do you define culture?”
This week I’ve been working in London and eventually found some time to visit the only tourist site of interest to me, Churchill’s underground war strategy bunker.
Long story short…. it was fascinating, but what really piqued my interest were some of Winston’s quotes.
Too many organisations invest time, money and energy working on or measuring their company culture based on criteria set by external consultants and academics. They overlook the most crucial performance issue of any organisations culture, the degree to which the culture currently aligns to inspire a performance capable of delivering the business strategy.
Cultures are often over generalised. We hear people make statements such as. German culture is efficient. Fijian culture is friendly. Japanese culture is symbolic and ritualised.
Your own culture is very difficult to see and understand when you are in it. Rather like a fish in water, a familiar surrounding quickly becomes transparent. We look through it and not at it.
For years now I have been studying and working inside organisations, helping people to clarify and align with their personal values. In fact, in supporting organisations to lift their performance I recommend placing far more energy and investment into supporting people to clarify their personal values than working on creating a set of organisational values.
Research suggests that over 30% of mergers fail because of culture incompatibility, and a lack of consideration and attention being given to the merging or transformation of the cultures.