Engaging Your People for Success- Ep 2 Season 4. Did my Strategy Eat my Culture and make it a Mess?
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Show Objectives - The Why
Often it is assumed if a company has a great vision or strategy then it must have a great culture and people will want to stay. Sadly this could not be further from the truth! So very often companies once had a great strategy and culture but over time things have changed and they are missing that the culture has degraded.
Often the strategy has not really been reassessed for true relevance as well, and this leads to further problems. It's amazing just how often the people working in the business cannot see that this has occurred. Often it takes some time for them to realise the depth of the problem, and by then it has often become pervasive and much more difficult to change. In fact by then the Strategy has continued on, and is often totally ignoring or worse yet contradictory to the culture. This is what I want to ensure you avoid.
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Key Issues - Owner Perspective:
Don’t let your business suffer, let me help you make your business the best that it can be by utilizing your greatest assets, Your People!!!!
In order for your business to the best that it can be, you need a great strategy that fully supports and enables an amazing culture. One cannot work well for long without the other. Often established businesses get too busy in the day to day, and forget they need to constantly maintain their culture, not just just their business plan.
When this happens the two start to separate and the culture invariably degrades. In the worse case examples it can become very toxic and then it starts to hinder the strategy and business outcomes. This can all be avoided through using some simple tools and metrics, and building them into your leadership team reviews and strategy. That way you have the best opportunity to always stay on top of your entire business and benefit from fully engaging your people for success, through a strong strategy and an amazing culture.
What You Need to Know - The What
For many years we all believed that the strategy was the be all and end all to business success. Yes of course you need to have one that will drive your business, through tough times as well as establishment and change. However, business has changed a lot in the last 10 years…….not only are we being impacted by rapid changes in technology and global accessibility, but also the workforce needs have changed……..people rarely now want a job for life, plus they want to feel valued and part of the business that can be heard in and effect change. This is very different from 15 years ago.
This has led us to having a highly skilled and highly mobile workforce……..plus we now have the GIG economy, and people are increasingly less reliant on the old fashioned full time job, and more comfortable with part time and contract roles……this is a huge shift in belief patterns and needs. So these companies that are still functioning on a great strategy without regard for culture, for them this means they are really finding they are coming up against a range of difficulties, as they have missed the key shifts in workplace needs, and the change in their employees behaviours and needs.
So whilst we have over the last few years become familiar with the phrase, ‘Culture eats strategy for Breakfast’ the true reality is that many companies have not been able to implement this shift, and capitalise on the benefits of it. Instead they are still almost 100% strategy focused, and are wondering why their strategies no longer work as well as they used to. Hence there is a need to recognise and implement strategies that embed the culture into the strategic plan, and that both elements support each other to drive success. They are not exclusive but rather symbiotic.
What You Need to Do - The How
Key Tips to get you started today
Key metrics to develop
Overall you need your strategy and your culture to be truly symbiotic. A culture is not a document like a strategy, it really is living and breathing. All cultures have 5 key characteristics, and these can be recognised and supported in a great strategy. These are;
- It is learned,
- based on symbols,
- integrated, and
All cultures share these basic features. Culture is learned. It is not biological; we do not inherit it.
So this means if you want to keep your strategy ahead of the game and incorporate your culture successfully you also need to look at how your strategy deals with these topics…..and more importantly that it is done in a way that engages your people and helps drive business success.
● Previous: Episode 1 Season 4 - The Importance of Engaging your People for Success- key people tips and tricks for Season 4.
● Next: Episode 3 - Why am I Losing so many of my People? - How to understand your attrition rates, and just what you can do to improve them and retain your best talent in a competitive and changing world.
Written by Lisa Askwith
Director of ApexBRS | ApexBRS, Regional Director of See Global Media, Chair of EGN Singapore, and Associate Professor Cambridge Corporate University | At the Age of Change, providing the HR component of the Global Executive MBA and BBA. Lisa has worked for some of the largest companies in the world and successfully led restructures and change management programs in order to improve the bottom line through engaging the people for success, while developing exceptional leaders who can make a positive impact on Culture and long term business sustainability.
You can connect with Lisa on any of her platforms
LinkedIn Lisa Askwith - Director - Apex BRS
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