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Organizational Culture- Implications & Process

Implications & Process of Organizational Culture

Implications of Organizational Culture

  1. Management Style:

    Different managers approach the supervision of their employees and team members in varied ways. Some managers use an autocratic style, which means that the culture of the organization is likely to have a clear hierarchy and is heavily dependent on tight control of resources and competencies. Other managers tend to have a more democratic style of leadership and this has strong implications for the structure of projects. Democratic management empowers team members to come up with their own solutions and be innovative in their approaches to solving problems.

  2. Reaching Compromises :

    Along with management style comes the ability of project teams to reach compromises. The organizational culture may encourage autonomous decision making, or it might leave major decisions to the project’s leader, who might not take kindly to input from others. Having several layers of management further complicates this if the managers do not employ open-door policies.

  3. Planning and Design:

    Organizations that have a strict hierarchy tend to be more bureaucratic, which often amounts to additional red tape to in trying to accomplish projects. Horizontally focused organizations, however, impart a culture of teamwork and stakeholder building in their structures. Stakeholders are all the folks within a business or project team that contribute to its success. Involving stakeholders in planning and designing projects, their timelines and objectives, often helps to make the actual work on the project easier. People like to feel as though they have a say in how things are managed.

  4. Time Management:

    Organizational culture can also affect the time management of projects. Some business settings and management styles prefer tradition and doing things within a prescribed method. Innovative organizational cultures, on the other hand, encourage creativity and trial by fire. The trade off is that an innovative company often lacks efficiency, with traditional companies able to produce more in a shorter amount of time because of their strict scheduling practices.

Process of Organisational Culture

Step 1 – Evaluate your current culture and performance: 1) Define your e.g. growth, profitability, customer 1-3 critical performance priorities satisfaction, etc.; 2) identify your 3-5 value/behavior strengths and 3) identify no more than 1-3 value/behavior weaknesses that are holding back your organization from achieving its full potential with the performance priorities you defined.

Step 2- Clarify your initial vision: Define your vision for improving results with only one or two of the performance priorities from step No. 1 and how you will build a culture advantage by leveraging the value/behavior strengths and improving the weaknesses. Clearly communicate how you will work together to improve the weak areas since they are holding your organization back from supporting your purpose and stakeholders.

Step 3- Clarify values and expected behaviors: Define supporting expected behaviors for the 1-3 weaknesses that you identified in step #1. These behaviors would be consistently exhibited in your organization if you were “living your values.” People interpret values from their own perspective so define expected behaviors like Zappos, The Container Store, and others.

Step 4 – Clarify strategic priorities: Define and clearly share the 3-5 actionable strategic priorities that your organization will focus on to support the 1-2 performance priorities included in your initial vision from the Define steps. If the performance priority is growth, will it be achieved through new products or services, revised sales strategies, growth with current customers, or other strategies. Employees want and need to understand the big picture.

Step 5- Engage your team in defining SMART goals: Engage your organization and utilize extensive feedback and prioritization to define the objectives that support. each strategic priority. These goals need defined in a way to support the expected behaviors for the 1-2 weaknesses you identified from the Define steps. For example, if accountability is a weakness, goals should include more disciplined plans, measures, reviews, recognition, and other approaches to support the behavior you need. Goals also need translated to all levels in larger organizations so people understand how work on their goals and measures impacts the broader organization.

Step 6- Clarify and track key measures: Identify a small number of overall measures that support the one or two top performance priorities from the Define steps. It may help to have one highly visible “unifying metric” even if some employees don’t directly influence it.

Step 7- Maintain a management system for priorities and goals: Most organizations have a system to track or monitor the status of priorities and goals. These reviews need adjusted to focus additional time and attention on the top performance priorities and value/behavior shifts identified in the Define steps. The focus must be on results and supporting the behavior shift through recognition, coaching, removing barriers, etc.

Step 8- Manage communication habits and routines: Transparent, genuine and consistent communication is needed about your performance improvement journey and the role of culture ‘so all employees feel part of the process. Regularly scheduled sessions with two-way communication and extensive informal approaches are needed to emphasize expected behaviors and results. Use these sessions to clarify plans, answer questions, expose rumors and reduce drama.

Step 9- Build motivation throughout the process: Feedback and recognition are critical to the process. Share and celebrate progress in a transparent manner as a standard part of regular communication activities. Confront reality when improvements don’t go as planned and re-engage your team to prioritize adjustments.

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