Company Culture and Its Importance

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The Culture Factor

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Culture for business

Postby Vudotaxe В» 26.02.2020

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Leaders must simultaneously consider culture styles and key organizational and market conditions if they want their culture to help drive performance. Region and industry are among the most germane external factors to keep in mind; critical internal considerations include alignment with strategy, leadership, and organizational design. The values of the national and regional cultures in which a company is embedded can influence patterns of behavior within the organization.

We find, for example, that companies operating in countries characterized by a high degree of institutional collectivism defined as valuing equity within groups and encouraging the collective distribution of resources , such as France and Brazil, have cultures that emphasize order and safety.

Companies operating in countries with low levels of uncertainty avoidance that is, they are open to ambiguity and future uncertainty , such as the United States and Australia, place a greater emphasis on learning, purpose, and enjoyment. Such external influences are important considerations when working across borders or designing an appropriate organizational culture. Varying cultural attributes may be needed to address industry-specific regulations and customer needs.

A comparison of organizations across industries reveals evidence that cultures might adapt to meet the demands of industry environments.

Organizational cultures in financial services are more likely to emphasize safety. Given the increasingly complex regulations enacted in response to the financial crisis, careful work and risk management are more critical than ever in this industry. In contrast, nonprofits are far more purpose-driven, which can reinforce their commitment to a mission by aligning employee behavior around a common goal. For its full benefit to be realized, a culture must support the strategic goals and plans of the business.

For example, we find differences between companies that adopt a differentiation strategy and companies that pursue a cost leadership strategy. Although results and caring are key cultural characteristics at both types of companies, enjoyment, learning, and purpose are more suited to differentiation, whereas order and authority are more suited to cost leadership. Flexible cultures—which emphasize enjoyment and learning —can spur product innovation in companies aiming to differentiate themselves, whereas stable and predictable cultures, which emphasize order and authority, can help maintain operational efficiency to keep costs low.

Companies with a strategy that seeks to stabilize or maintain their market position prioritize learning, whereas organizations operating with a turnaround strategy tend to prioritize order and safety in their efforts to redirect or reorganize unprofitable units. It is hard to overestimate the importance of aligning culture and leadership. The character and behaviors of a CEO and top executives can have a profound effect on culture. Conversely, culture serves to either constrain or enhance the performance of leaders.

For individual leaders, cultural fit is as important as capabilities and experience. In many cases, structure and systems follow culture. For example, companies that prioritize teamwork and collaboration might design incentive systems that include shared team and company goals along with rewards that recognize collective effort.

However, a long-standing organizational design choice can lead to the formation of a culture. Because the latter is far more difficult to alter, we suggest that structural changes should be aligned with the desired culture.

Culture expresses goals through values and beliefs and guides activity through shared assumptions and group norms. Strategy provides clarity and focus for collective action and decision making. It relies on plans and sets of choices to mobilize people and can often be enforced by both concrete rewards for achieving goals and consequences for failing to do so. Ideally, it also incorporates adaptive elements that can scan and analyze the external environment and sense when changes are required to maintain continuity and growth.

Leadership goes hand-in-hand with strategy formation, and most leaders understand the fundamentals. Culture, however, is a more elusive lever, because much of it is anchored in unspoken behaviors, mindsets, and social patterns. For better and worse, culture and leadership are inextricably linked. Founders and influential leaders often set new cultures in motion and imprint values and assumptions that persist for decades. The best leaders we have observed are fully aware of the multiple cultures within which they are embedded, can sense when change is required, and can deftly influence the process.

Unfortunately, in our experience it is far more common for leaders seeking to build high-performing organizations to be confounded by culture. Indeed, many either let it go unmanaged or relegate it to the HR function, where it becomes a secondary concern for the business. As someone once said, culture eats strategy for breakfast. Our work suggests that culture can, in fact, be managed. The first and most important step leaders can take to maximize its value and minimize its risks is to become fully aware of how it works.

By integrating findings from more than of the most commonly used social and behavioral models, we have identified eight styles that distinguish a culture and can be measured. We gratefully acknowledge the rich history of cultural studies—going all the way back to the earliest explorations of human nature—on which our work builds.

Using this framework, leaders can model the impact of culture on their business and assess its alignment with strategy. We also suggest how culture can help them achieve change and build organizations that thrive in even the most trying times. Culture is the tacit social order of an organization: It shapes attitudes and behaviors in wide-ranging and durable ways. Cultural norms define what is encouraged, discouraged, accepted, or rejected within a group. Culture can also evolve flexibly and autonomously in response to changing opportunities and demands.

Whereas strategy is typically determined by the C-suite, culture can fluidly blend the intentions of top leaders with the knowledge and experiences of frontline employees. The academic literature on the subject is vast. Our review of it revealed many formal definitions of organizational culture and a variety of models and methods for assessing it. Numerous processes exist for creating and changing it. Agreement on specifics is sparse across these definitions, models, and methods, but through a synthesis of seminal work by Edgar Schein, Shalom Schwartz, Geert Hofstede, and other leading scholars, we have identified four generally accepted attributes:.

Culture is a group phenomenon. It cannot exist solely within a single person, nor is it simply the average of individual characteristics. It resides in shared behaviors, values, and assumptions and is most commonly experienced through the norms and expectations of a group—that is, the unwritten rules.

Culture permeates multiple levels and applies very broadly in an organization; sometimes it is even conflated with the organization itself. It is manifest in collective behaviors, physical environments, group rituals, visible symbols, stories, and legends. Culture can direct the thoughts and actions of group members over the long term. It develops through critical events in the collective life and learning of a group. Thus culture becomes a self-reinforcing social pattern that grows increasingly resistant to change and outside influences.

An important and often overlooked aspect of culture is that despite its subliminal nature, people are effectively hardwired to recognize and respond to it instinctively. It acts as a kind of silent language.

Shalom Schwartz and E. Wilson have shown through their research how evolutionary processes shaped human capacity; because the ability to sense and respond to culture is universal, certain themes should be expected to recur across the many models, definitions, and studies in the field.

That is exactly what we have discovered in our research over the past few decades. Our review of the literature for commonalities and central concepts revealed two primary dimensions that apply regardless of organization type, size, industry, or geography: people interactions and response to change.

Cultures that lean toward the former place greater value on autonomy, individual action, and competition. Those that lean toward the latter emphasize integration, managing relationships, and coordinating group effort.

People in such cultures tend to collaborate and to see success through the lens of the group. Whereas some cultures emphasize stability—prioritizing consistency, predictability, and maintenance of the status quo—others emphasize flexibility, adaptability, and receptiveness to change. Those that favor stability tend to follow rules, use control structures such as seniority-based staffing, reinforce hierarchy, and strive for efficiency. Those that favor flexibility tend to prioritize innovation, openness, diversity, and a longer-term orientation.

Kim Cameron, Robert Quinn, and Robert Ernest are among the researchers who employ similar dimensions in their culture frameworks.

By applying this fundamental insight about the dimensions of people interactions and response to change, we have identified eight styles that apply to both organizational cultures and individual leaders.

Caring focuses on relationships and mutual trust. Work environments are warm, collaborative, and welcoming places where people help and support one another.

Employees are united by loyalty; leaders emphasize sincerity, teamwork, and positive relationships. Purpose is exemplified by idealism and altruism. Work environments are tolerant, compassionate places where people try to do good for the long-term future of the world.

Employees are united by a focus on sustainability and global communities; leaders emphasize shared ideals and contributing to a greater cause. Learning is characterized by exploration, expansiveness, and creativity. Work environments are inventive and open-minded places where people spark new ideas and explore alternatives. Employees are united by curiosity; leaders emphasize innovation, knowledge, and adventure. Enjoyment is expressed through fun and excitement.

Work environments are lighthearted places where people tend to do what makes them happy. Employees are united by playfulness and stimulation; leaders emphasize spontaneity and a sense of humor. Results is characterized by achievement and winning.

Work environments are outcome-oriented and merit-based places where people aspire to achieve top performance. Employees are united by a drive for capability and success; leaders emphasize goal accomplishment. Authority is defined by strength, decisiveness, and boldness. Work environments are competitive places where people strive to gain personal advantage. Employees are united by strong control; leaders emphasize confidence and dominance.

Safety is defined by planning, caution, and preparedness. Work environments are predictable places where people are risk-conscious and think things through carefully. Employees are united by a desire to feel protected and anticipate change; leaders emphasize being realistic and planning ahead.

Order is focused on respect, structure, and shared norms. Work environments are methodical places where people tend to play by the rules and want to fit in.

Employees are united by cooperation; leaders emphasize shared procedures and time-honored customs. These eight styles fit into our integrated culture framework according to the degree to which they reflect independence or interdependence people interactions and flexibility or stability response to change. Styles that are adjacent in the framework, such as safety and order, frequently coexist within organizations and their people.

In contrast, styles that are located across from each other, such as safety and learning, are less likely to be found together and require more organizational energy to maintain simultaneously.

What is Organizational Culture?, time: 4:24
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Re: culture for business

Postby Zolosar В» 26.02.2020

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Re: culture for business

Postby Fer В» 26.02.2020

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Re: culture for business

Postby Nirr В» 26.02.2020

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Re: culture for business

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Re: culture for business

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Postby Zusho В» 26.02.2020

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