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.

There really is no point having an award winning culture, a world class culture or a best place to work culture, if the culture doesn’t align to the business strategy. One of the key challenges facing most organisations is that they do not know how to determine to what extent the company culture is aligned to the business strategy. They can identify all sorts of other things; the values and the purpose statement, the reward and recognition rituals, the 360 performance process and the percentage and quality of staff engagement. But rarely do I see organisations identifying what degree of alignment exists between the culture and the strategy.

Given that research has repeatedly demonstrated that culture typically is responsible for over a third of an organisation’s performance this oversight seems alarming. In our Culture Planning workshop we show organisations multiple ways in which an organisation can determine the degree to which the culture is aligned with the business strategy. Here are two examples, the first is simple and conversational and the second requires a deeper and more attentive approach:

Identify how many of your employees can explain your current business strategy accurately and where their role contributes to this process.  How do they feel about their contribution?

Identify the most dominant metaphors used in the language of your business to determine what perspective your people are seeing and thinking about their work, the context they work in, the customers, leadership and the market place. Once you have identified the dominant metaphor, evaluate it in terms of its degree of appropriateness for the type of impression you are trying to make in the market place and with customers.

Cultural Questions For Consideration.

Is your culture is aligned with your business strategy?

Do you have a plan to align your culture and strategy, or to maintain and increase alignment?

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