While the term "culture" can often seem abstract and esoteric, at Banner Consulting & Coaching International it simply means the way that things are done in an organization.
It is the combination of values and behaviors that differentiates one organization from another, and that either supports or works against a particular business strategy. The importance of developing a culture that will energize all of an organization's employees and stake-holders around it's mission, goals, and strategy cannot be overemphasized.
As David Pottruck, former CEO of Charles Schwab, said:
"In this business world..., which requires rapid and continuous innovation to compete, corporate culture is the central competitive advantage"
Whether a new start-up or a company in transition (such as through strategy change, customer realignment, deregulation, merger, growth, downsizing, etc.) the cultural attributes that are required and developed should be carefully considered. Culture does not have to "just happen"... a culture that will work to support your business strategy can be thoughtfully designed and systematically developed.
The design of a new culture begins with an articulated set of values. These define what is important in the organization and what will help it achieve its strategic objectives. They address issues such as relationships with customers, employees, and other stakeholders. However, values have little meaning unless they bring about specific behaviors. In the end, it's what people do that is important. Our over-all culture change process focuses on the desired behaviors -- based on the firm's values -- and on an implementation plan that will create and support these behaviors. Through leadership, communication, competency development, and performance management systems the desired appropriate behaviors become self-sustaining.
In the transitioning firm there are a number of additional complexities, such as identifying values and practices that might be so core to the firm's identity that they should only be changed under the most extreme circumstances, the loss of personal identity that people may feel as cultures change, and the potential problems of developing two (or more) distinct -- and sometimes competing -- cultures within the same firm. All of these concerns must be addressed to make sure that the highest possible level of performance is sustained during the change process.
Ultimately, the process of building a successful organization culture must be closely woven into the development of the firm's strategy and supported by all of the functional practices within the firm. Our processes, tools, and experience all work together to make sure that you develop the specific culture that will maximize the effectiveness of your organization