What is Organisational Culture?
There is no single definition for organisational culture. Essentially, it is the social and psychological environment of your organisation, based on its underlying beliefs, assumptions, core values, expectations, and communication, both internally and externally.
Organisational culture and shared values permeate throughout an organisation, resulting in practices, processes, and behaviours by which the organisation conducts itself – the way things are done around here.
The Link Between Organisational Culture and Leadership:
As a leader in your organisation, have you ever thought about your influence on your organisational culture?
Leaders are pivotal in setting the tone from the top, forming a collective set of principles and practices about the organisation, its people, and its systems. In their work in defining a classification framework for organisational culture (the Competing Values Framework), Robert E. Quinn and Kim S. Cameron created four culture types that identified the key characteristics of company operation, employee collaboration and Leader (corporate) values: the Clan, the Hierarchy, the Market, and the Adhocracy.
The model developed by Quinn and Cameron demonstrated a linkage between the behaviours of Leaders and the type of culture that they generate in an organisation. Are your leadership behaviours aligned with the type of strong culture that you want to generate?
Competing Values Framework Culture Types:
Organisational Culture Change Stages
Each and every organisation is different, and experiences business culture in a different way. Being able to define which culture fits into your organisation is an important step in identifying potential black holes and your white space.
Fire Fighting Mode.
Responding to situations as they occur in the organisation. Little to no consideration is given to proactive forward planning or risk management.
Rules Drive Mode.
Enforcing rules through discipline, even if the rules are counter-productive to business objectives. Compliance with policies and procedures takes precedence over operational efficiency and effectiveness.
Performance Drive Mode.
A fluid state where the organisation transitions to actioning on its own drivers to improve organisational performance and efficiency.
Total Performance Mode.
Organisational culture has shifted to a place of operational effectiveness and efficiency, focussing on future needs and drivers.
Why Organisations Can Struggle to Take Off.
Change is difficult for an organisation. There are a lot of barriers that can impact an organisation’s ability to understand that change is needed, and to effectively commence a company culture change process.
Often, employees don’t realise change is needed. They become complacent with the belief that things have always been the way they are and that’s just how it is – if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.
Fear of Change
Uncertainty is a big fear for organisations considering change. They wonder what impact the change will have on them day to day; employees wonder if they will still have a job at the conclusion of the change.
Organisations will often defer change as they are too focussed on day to day operations to consider entering a disruptive change process – they’re too busy to think about change.
Organisations can fall into the trap of believing they have the resources and capabilities in-house to successfully implement change – they’re afraid to go outside the organisation to ask for help.
Organisations often can’t see the good change will do for them. It’s difficult for them to envision the future and the benefits change will bring to their organisation.