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Every company has an aspirational culture that is often reflected in a mission statement or in the values and ideals you see framed in conference rooms. But sometimes, the words on the walls don’t match what is heard in the halls. Too often, an organization’s actual culture is very different than its aspirational culture. This matters because actual culture will affect everything from strategic direction to day-to-day operations to employee retention and beyond.
Simply put, organizational culture drives performance — what you do is proof of what you believe. When companies lack congruence between their culture and their actual practices, they struggle to perform.
Culture is created by the organizational values and beliefs that guide your organization’s attitudes and behaviors. Strategy is the framework for pursuing your vision and business goals. So how can you tell if they are in alignment? First, be intentional about listening. Take a stroll through workspaces and just observe. Perk up your ears during meetings. What do you hear? Are you proud of the thoughts being shared? What emotions do you feel while listening? Are you energized and motivated by the messages being sent or deflated and demoralized?
The discussion around culture and strategy is too often oriented around outward actions and behaviors alone. This ignores the vital role interior mindsets and language play in shaping culture. When communicating with those around us, we are verbalizing what is happening in our minds and shaping and influencing how others think, feel, and act. Your organization’s actual culture is being shaped by your team members’ mindsets and words and it is affecting your outcomes for better or worse. So, what can you do about it?
Every organization has a culture — not every leader is intentional about building a great one that achieves the strategic mission. You must take action to steer your ship or the unintended culture of your organization will steer it to a potentially undesirable destination.
You have a vision for the culture you want, but sometimes it takes significant changes to get there. HigherEchelon comes alongside you as a trusted partner to diagnose your culture and support your strategy to guide your team through needed changes. Ultimately, we help you choose your destination and course-correct to get there by:
Strategies are often focused on one of three angles: the customer, the product or on operations. These three categories broadly define where an organization’s strategy seeks to provide value (e.g., high end customer experience, high quality or innovative merchandise, or cost leading models). There are no wrong strategies – just ineffective ones! We partner with public and private sector organizations to thoroughly assess and diagnose current organizational culture and determine if it adequately supports the strategy. For example, if the company strategy involves wowing new customers in first touches, but company culture negatively affects how front-line employees engage in those interactions, this misalignment must be addressed at the root cause.
Our evidence-based process focuses on executive leadership as the focal point for establishing the values which drive behavior and ultimately, business results. Through our human capital services and signature Resilient & Adaptable Leader programs, we work closely with executive leaders to align culture and strategy by:
Ready to create an amazing culture that is in alignment with your strategy? Call us at 866-488-9228, email us at Solutions@higherechelon.com, or fill out this form to be contacted about an initial consultation.
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