In an earlier blog I suggested that it should be possible to Codify culture. I think it can be as simple as a recipe of factors (environment, peer group, education, common goal) and practice: ostensibly “fake it till you make it”
See earlier blog
I then suggested that in successive blogs I would explain the recipe of factors and how to bring them together to make culture.
THE RECIPE FOR SUCCESS
Lane4, the management consultancy which uses Olympians and other sports people to talk about plans, strategy, team-work was set-up by Olympian Adrian Moorehouse. Their philosophy is based on a motto “The aim of this establishment is to create an environment where champions are inevitable” and when you look at managers, coaches, physios, and the competitive and collaborative processes, plus the use of data (watts, power, speed, timings, bio-mechanics, heart-rate) it is clear that a centre and pursuit of excellence leaves nothing to chance.
The Cultural Web identifies six interrelated elements that help to make up what Johnson and Scholes call the "paradigm" – the pattern or model – of the work environment. By analyzing the factors in each, you can begin to see the bigger picture of your culture: what is working, what isn't working, and what needs to be changed. The six elements are:
STORIES – The past events and people talked about inside and outside the company. Who and what the company chooses to immortalize says a great deal about what it values, and perceives as great behavior.
RITUALS AND ROUTINES – The daily behavior and actions of people that signal acceptable behavior. This determines what is expected to happen in given situations, and what is valued by management.
SYMBOLS – The visual representations of the company including logos, how plush the offices are, and the formal or informal dress codes.
ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE – This includes both the structure defined by the organization chart, and the unwritten lines of power and influence that indicate whose contributions are most valued.
CONTROL SYSTEMS – The ways that the organization is controlled. These include financial systems, quality systems, and rewards (including the way they are measured and distributed within the organization.)
POWER STRUCTURES – The pockets of real power in the company. This may involve one or two key senior executives, a whole group of executives, or even a department. The key is that these people have the greatest amount of influence on decisions, operations, and strategic direction.
Finally, a lot of my work with Island Games, Commonwealth Games and working with businesses helping people and process development is based on Robert Dilts model “I can do that here”
Whilst there is no one-size-fits-all approach nor a standard set of ingredients, but there are common themes and I’d like to explore the following in future blogs.
Ingredient No1: Environment
Ingredient No2: Behaviour
Ingredient No3: Capability
Ingredient No4: Belief
Ingredient No5 : The Individual
The above assume you already have the people (good, bad, happy or sad) and that you aim to change culture by leadership and management and are not in a position to build culture by selective recruitment.
BUILDING CULTURE BY SELECTIVE RECRUITMENT.
If you are in a position to build culture by selective recruitment, then I highly recommend three excellent blogs by Dr. Cameron Sepah [Clinical Professor at UCSF Medical School. Startup & VC Advisor] and strongly recommend these for anyone interested in change/leadership psychology
Your Company's Culture is Who You Hire, Fire, & Promote: Part 1, The Performance-Values Matrix
Your Company Culture Is Who You Hire, Fire, & Promote: Part 2, Anatomy of an Asshole
Breaking Bad: Why Good People Become Evil Bosses
If you have experience of this, or would like to made a contribution to my next blog please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tim Rogers is an experienced Management Consultant, Project and Change Leader. He is also Commonwealth Triathlete and World Championships Rower and a Tutor/Mentor on the Chartered Management Institute.