Thursday, 22 May 2014


Reading the Guardian supplement on the Best Places to Work reminded me that the culture of any organisation is so important. Culture is 'the way we do things around here' and it determines how the organisation lives, eats and breathes. 
Culture is 'how we do things around here' and divides into three aspects that are inextricably linked:
  • Assumptions: beliefs, perceptions, thoughts and feelings.
  • Values: goals, strategies and philosophies.
  • Systems: visible, day-to-day organisational structures and processes.
Any organisation, in pursuit of excellence, needs to carefully consider the factors that shape culture, the characteristics of culture and the impact of culture.

1. Shaping Culture
  • individuals’ actions
  • vision, purpose and strategy
  • structure
  • performance measures
  • people practices
  • competitive context.
2. Characteristics of culture
  • philosophy, values and beliefs
  • symbols
  • norms
  • climate.
3. Impacting on culture
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate passionately and personally to ensure that everyone understands the new cultural values and how they are aligned to the organisation’s strategic direction.
  • Organise and develop opportunities so that everyone can engage directly with the substance of the cultural change and understand how their role in this will support the organisation’s future success
  • Develop learning leadership and establish a leadership programme where everyone can measure their actions and behaviours against those expected in the new culture.
  • Develop intelligent accountability and change reward and performance measurement systems to encourage the demonstration of new shared values.
  • Management: revise management processes so that recruitment, induction, development and evaluation practices incorporate the new shared values.
  • Create beautiful systems and adjust processes and procedures to reinforce the new culture.

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