The organization's strategy is the set of initiatives and actions it will take to achieve the vision. Choosing initiatives that are consistent with or that reinforce the culture you're trying to build gets people working on projects they should be excited about both from a business standpoint and a culture standpoint.
- The organization's strategy is a set of initiatives and actions that you'll take to achieve your vision. Those actions and that overall strategy have to support the high-performance culture you're trying to build. Choosing initiatives that are consistent with that culture or that reinforce the culture you already have help people get excited about the work they do. They know why they're particular project is a great idea, both from a business results standpoint as well as how it benefits the culture you're building.
As the leader, you need to show the linkages between the projects they're working on and the culture you're building. This can be as explicit as having a culture strategic filter for selecting initiatives. What this means is, you're going to have criteria for selecting a project and deciding whether it's on strategy or off strategy. This culture strategic filter has you ask the question, "Is this project consistent "with the culture we're trying to build?" If it is, people understand the linkage.
If it's not, you should probably not do that project. I know of a couple of organizations that have made culture shifts. And they've aligned their strategy with the culture they were building. One organization made the shift to being more customer-centric. The initiatives they included were a new Voice of the Customer survey platform. That costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. They reorganized their customer service team. They made investments in call center software so their associates could better serve their customers.
They also invested a lot in associate training to drive customer-centricity. Another organization I've worked with was trying to also make the shift toward customer-centricity. This was a credit card company. They actually changed their collections processes in order to better serve their customers. They invested in call center training. They invested in new software platforms that enabled their associates to treat their customers better. They made massive IT changes in support of this new culture.
Take a look at your strategic plan. What initiatives are you pursuing? How do they tie to culture? Do your teams understand those linkages between the initiative and the culture you're trying to build? If not, explain the link. If the initiative isn't consistent with the culture you're trying to build, you probably need to stop pursuing that initiative. The more closely you can tie your strategy to building a high-performance culture, the more excited your associates will be about pursuing the initiatives and the faster you're going to build the culture that you're interested in having.
- Identify the components of high-performing cultures.
- Assess and evaluate your current culture.
- Define high performance.
- Create a compelling vision and mission.
- Compare and contrast communication vehicles.
- Explain what culture is and list ways to reinforce it.
- Identify tools for measuring and balancing results.