Culture can mean the difference between high and low performance, between positive, low, and “no” morale — in our parlance, between Mission-Challenged and Mission-Driven organizations. But don’t just take our word for it. Empirical research has tied quality of culture specifically to organizational outcomes, including higher profits and morale.
It’s no surprise that culture is the cornerstone of exemplary structures including learning organizations, deliberately developmental organizations, and high-performing teams. They take proactive steps to foster, maintain, and build upon empowering cultures, creating a virtuous cycle: positive norms/expectations > positive, empowering culture > happy, productive people > desired organizational outcomes > even more positive norms/expectations > cycle continues.
Creating a Positive Culture
Given the many benefits of positive culture, why doesn’t every organization have one?
Actively promoting a positive culture takes time and effort. It requires leaders who intend to make things different. It’s an adventure into the unknown and it’s important to know that you’re “disturbing” the system. Even if it’s a positive, healthy disturbance, systems resist change. Self-confrontation, as we’ve discussed, is difficult at the individual and organizational levels. But it ultimately leads to an empowering culture in which people and groups take on the responsibility for creating the culture THEY want to work in at their organization. That sure makes employees happier and more satisfied and makes it a lot easier to recruit the best people who truly want to work at your organization.
To take a step, reach out to Jacki Davidoff, Principal, Davidoff Strategy. There are many places to start, and we’d be delighted to start by listening.