I’m learning a great lesson currently about the role of culture in business success. When culture is aligned with your business amazing things can happen. When it isn’t it needs to be fixed quickly and ruthlessly or bad things can happen.
I use the word ruthlessly intentionally here. Often culture is viewed is a fuzzy, ephemeral concept but it isn’t. Culture is essentially how the employees in your company work with each other. Do they interact with confidence and trust or are they looking over their shoulder for the next knife in the back? Are managers working for the business or are they working for themselves? Culture is built around these (and many other) questions. Do employees say yes to management simply because or is challenge accepted and encouraged?
Culture starts at the top and comes down. Culture is psychological. Psychology is a tough topic because many smart people feel like they can interpret things however they want and no one can question them. The reality is that if you open your eyes and ask the right questions you can see what is going on and understand your influence on it.
Communication is how you change your culture. Open and honest communication leads to the culture you are looking for – over time people will respond if you are consistent and actually open and honest. No communication leads to chaos and uncertainty in the culture, you will essentially have multiple incompatible cultures existing at once as employees break into cliques of the people they can trust and work with.
So are you paying attention and making sure things are the way you want?