The Defining Elements of a Winning Culture – Harvard Business Review

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The Defining Elements of a Winning Culture – Harvard Business Review

Winning behavior starts at the top. If you want to take a “reading” on how well your message is received just ask your organization’s foot soldiers or better yet, have someone outside your organization gather some information from people throughout the company. Everyone should know exactly what message is being transmitted from behind closed doors: even if they never directly see or know what’s on the PowerPoint slide. Harvard Business Review’s research revealed seven traits of strong cultures:

  • Honest. There is high integrity in all interactions with employees, customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders.
  • Performance-focused. Rewards, development, and other talent-management practices are in sync with the underlying drivers of performance.
  • Accountable and owner-like. Roles, responsibilities, and authority; all reinforce ownership over work and results.
  • Collaborative. There’s recognition that the best ideas come from the exchange and sharing of ideas between individuals and teams.
  • Agile and adaptive. The organization is able to turn on a dime when necessary and adapt to changes in the external environment.
  • Innovative. Employees push the envelope in terms of new ways of thinking.
  • Oriented toward winning. There is strong ambition focused on objective measures of success, either versus the competition or against some absolute standard of excellence.

Your company should be hitting on at least 3 of these if you want to thrive and lead. If you are not, maybe it’s time to reconsider some corporate policies.

When you are ready for a change, try implementing just ONE of the above by the following these steps. Change doesn’t happen overnight, but developing an idea starts today. In order to best measure success, try:

  • Pick one trait. Write it down.
  • Create action items – Accomplish the goal by a specific date. Make sure the actions are in line with your mission, reasonable and measurable. Write them down.
  • Check-in – Set reminders every few weeks to determine progress. If you are not achieving the desired results change part of your method; ask for other opinions, until you begin seeing desirable effects at your next check-in.
  • Perform a 360 Team Audit – Ask people outside your organization for ideas. Reevaluate periodically.
  • Assess –When you see desired outcome it is time to choose another “trait”. Change begins with you. Success may be not be immediate, starting the process is the first step. The final evaluation will amaze you!

According to the Harvard Business Review, “culture plays a vital role in performance. Winning cultures treat performance as an explicit output and foster an environment that is conducive to generating the best possible results — not just for employees, but for customers, suppliers, and, yes, even shareholders.”  Defining your culture is critically important to achieving goals.

One way companies communicate culture internally is through employee benefits which tie your mission to the bottom-line.  Your culture is communicated by benefit programs throughout your organization. The message received is equally as important as the message sent. We assist your company by making sure one of your most powerful cultural messages is properly communicated and received by your most valuable asset: your employees.

Lifting your company to achieve success is what we do. Need a fresh set of eyes? Call me for some ideas: (610) 314-5693.

Full Article: Harvard Business Review