In a previous article we discussed the issue of how best to unearth your corporate culture. Assuming that the exercise was successful, resulting in a clear identification of the culture of your organisation, the obvious question that now needs to be asked is whether its organisational culture provides a solid platform from which it is able to achieve its objectives against its strategic intent.
The answer to that question may well be more complex than it appears, not least because a business culture is likely to be the sum of various constituent parts, including the engagement of proper core values, attracting and retaining the right staff team, instituting and maintaining appropriate behaviours to ensure that customer satisfaction is consistently achieved, establishing transparency and honesty at every level of the organisation and ensuring that every individual understands their personal contribution to the bigger corporate picture.
However, we suggest that there are three key elements that might assist you in reaching your conclusion.
1. Does Your Corporate Culture Accurately Reflect The Development of Your Organisation?
As an organisation develops it should do so around a basic business culture. As we have already alluded to, a corporate culture is a multi-faceted concept but it also needs to be dynamic, reflecting the various stages in an organisation’s progress from start-up, to establishment as a SME, exit, trade sale or acquisition or flotation etc. It is therefore important to ensure that the corporate culture of the business develops organically in line with the various stages of its organisational evolution.
2. Does Your Corporate Culture Adequately Emphasise the Value of Your Customers?
The driving force of any organisation is to achieve excellence in the provision of its products and services to its customers and clients. This can only happen if the business’s corporate culture is founded on the basis that the quality of its interactions with its customers and the consequent enhancement of the value it affords its customers are vital to providing the level of service that the customer deserves. This might translate, in terms of the operation of the business, to a whole host of practical matters. Client contacts should be handled efficiently, telephone calls should be returned promptly, orders should be delivered on time, the staff should be smart and prompt in attending meetings, reliability should be key both in terms of the performance of the organisation’s personnel and the products and/or services that it delivers. If an organisation’s corporate culture fails to adequately reflect the value that it places upon its customers and clients, it will require a change.
3. Is Your Corporate Culture Attracting the “Right” Business?
Most businesses are coming to a clear understanding of the importance of corporate culture. The same can be said for potential purchasers, customers and clients of an organisation and, even more importantly, the existing customer base that is responsible for the provision of repeat revenue. If the culture is right then the organisation will not only attract the right business but have the collective confidence to turn away business that does not dovetail with its corporate culture.
The above by no means represents an exhaustive list of factors that might raise concerns about the existing corporate culture of your business but the three matters referred to are likely to provide useful guidance.
A corporate culture can develop with many different aspects and nuances over a period of time, depending on the individual organisation, and sometimes only minor changes are required to it. However, as we will consider in a later article, there are also occasions, where a more wholesale change of corporate culture is indicated.
Article written by Mark Edwards
Director, Adcurata Limited
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