Leading by Leveraging Culture
Managing culture will not guarantee organizational success. Neither will neglecting culture result in assured failure. Culture is only one of the leadership tools that helps success, but managing it will help an organization with its strategic objectives in the long term.
Why is Organizational Culture Powerful?
Focusing People Intensely on Strategy Execution
CEO’s fail when they are unable to fully execute on strategy. The key is in not only having a well-formulated strategy, but in also executing well on the strategy. Southwest Airlines has had a simple and transparent strategy of offering a high volume of short, low-cost flights. The strategy is ...view middle of the document...
Strong norms create an environment where violations are in terms of letting colleagues down instead of breaking rules, so culture should be strong.
What Makes Culture Strong?
A strong culture is based on a high level of agreement about what’s valued and also a high level of intensity about those values. Cultures exist where they have a high level of one of these but not of the other, resulting in a non-effective environment.
Innovation and change is important in the long run for a strong culture to continue to perform effectively. Cultural norms should support risk-taking and change, more so than to focus only on hiring creative people. This can include encouragement of unconventional thinking, developing a sense of team “safety” to encourage learning behavior. Leaders must be quick about implementing promising ideas so that they actually happen effectively.
Leadership Tools to Manage and Change Organizational Culture
How can leaders develop, manage, and change culture to be effective and promote strong performance?
Tool #1: Recruiting and Selecting People for Culture Fit
In selecting employees, person-culture fit I emphasized in addition to person-job fit. This means anticipating if the workplace culture will be rewarding for the potential hire. Skillsets can be learned if necessary, however a culture fit is much harder to establish. Also, recruiter characteristics should be considered. “Similarity-attraction effect” - this can be an influence in a recruiter’s work, and should be expected when given the task of head-hunting. Also, the selection process...