Good Culture is Good Business

goodculture_logoGood Culture is Good Business is a statement you will be hearing from us more regularly! We are intent on establishing a firm business case around this statement despite the many existing articles and supporting statistics one can find by simply googling the topic. Through conversations with our clients, delegate interactions in our workshops and having the privelage of talking to whole organistions about how culture effects them, we have simply become more and more convinced that if an organisaton invests in good culture, it will yield good business.

Cuture, simply put, is ‘the way we do things around here’.

Good culture exists when the way we do things aroundf here is working well. Evidence of this would be:

  • An aligned leadership team that are strategically focussed
  • Clear and concise communication
  • Inspired individuals who know what is expected of them
  • Resilient businesses that can perform in the face of pressure
  • Brand values are being lived out and are not just words on the wall
  • Optimised productivity

The opposite of this would be dysfunctional culture. In other words ‘the way we do things around here’ is not working as well as it could and therefore does not support optimal business performance. Evidence of this would be:

  • Mistrust, gossip and blame
  • Teams and individuals working in silo’s
  • Us versus Them mentality
  • Highly demotivated and burnt out employees
  • Inability to retain the best talent.

Too often we ignore the symptons of a dysfunctional culture failing to recongise just how that is contributing negatively to the bottom line. 

A statistic that recently caught our attention was this: Most organizations are operating with a 5% to 10% productivity drag that better leadership practices could eliminate. (Ken Blanchard Company). Ken Blanchard has stated that overall poor leadership costs the US economy over $1 million annually. It’s a great example of the impact of culture on the bottom line. Effective leadership is certainly a major contributor to good culture. In fact its pretty much what holds it together. Blanchards article is proof that ineffectve leadership and the way that leadership is executed will impact on overall productivty and therefore the bottom line. (Read the article here)

We therefore believe and will continue to communicate that a key question organisations need to continually ask is; ‘does the way we do things around here support optimal business performance?’

The answer to this question is not as straightforward as a quick look in. It takes time to ‘listen’ to an organisation and to truly understand what is contributing postively and negatively toward overall culture. We believe that this is part of why many organisations ignore culture. Listening takes time. Building good culture take time. We have said before through our #culturemarathon campaing, that building good culture is a marathon, not a sprint. Time is what many organisations dont believe that they have, yet taking time to address culture will yield long term results that will most certainly be worth the investment.

As a business we will continue to put mechanisms in place to make the journey as efficient as possible, such as meaningful high impact workshops and projects such as ‘The State of Engagement‘ which exists to gather intelligence through organsiational wide surveys conducted within our client base as well as through pre workshop surveys done every time we facilitate one.

If we can look back on a few decades of business and realise we have been successful in campaigning for good culture and walking significant journeys with clients who believe this too, then it will all have been worthwile.