One of the most (mis)used management buzzwords in the past 10 years has to be “culture”. What is this fuzzy word all about? In this OUTNR. Thinkteam we found the right answer and defined some culture concepts. For organizations seeking to become more adaptive and innovative, culture change is often the most challenging part of the transformation. Innovation demands new behaviors from leaders and employees that are often antithetical to corporate cultures, which are historically focused on operational excellence and efficiency.
Why Culture Doesn’t Just Beat Strategy, It Must Be the Strategy. Read this Inc. article by Brent Gleeson @brentgleeson
“When you define the culture you want for your organization, align it with the vision and strategy and establish it authentically, you will have built the single most powerful tool for navigating change. You will be building a team that can adapt and thrive in adversity–which is something every organization has to do just to survive. And while organizational change doesn’t need to happen in such rapid succession as in urban combat for example, adaptability is key for success.”
As a reference we started with the 4 basic culture types as shared by Popin https://popinnow.com/four-types-organizational-culture/
The Clan Culture: This culture is rooted in collaboration. Members share commonalities and see themselves are part of one big family who are active and involved. Leadership takes the form of mentorship, and the organization is bound by commitments and traditions. The main values are rooted in teamwork, communication and consensus. A prominent clan culture is Tom’s of Maine, the maker of all-natural hygiene products. To build the brand, founder Tom Chappell focused on building respectful relationships with employees, customers, suppliers and the environment itself.
The Adhocracy Culture: This culture is based on energy and creativity. Employees are encouraged to take risks, and leaders are seen as innovators or entrepreneurs. The organization is held together by experimentation, with an emphasis on individual ingenuity and freedom. The core values are based on change and agility. Facebook can be seen as a prototypical adhocracy organization, based on CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s famous admonition to, “Move fast and break things – unless you are breaking stuff, you are not moving fast enough.
The Market Culture: This culture is built upon the dynamics of competition and achieving concrete results. The focus is goal-oriented, with leaders who are tough and demanding. The organization is united by a common goal to succeed and beat all rivals. The main value drivers are market share and profitability. General Electric under ex-CEO Jack Welch is a good example of this culture. Welch vowed that every G.E. business unit must rank first or second in its respective market or face being sold off. Another example of the market culture is software giant Oracle under hard-driving Executive Chairman Larry Ellison.
The Hierarchy Culture: This culture is founded on structure and control. The work environment is formal, with strict institutional procedures in place for guidance. Leadership is based on organized coordination and monitoring, with a culture emphasizing efficiency and predictability. The values include consistency and uniformity. Think of stereotypical large, bureaucratic organizations such as McDonald’s, the military, or the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Which Culture do you prefer?
The OUTNR. members prefer an Adhocracy Culture, based on energy and creativity. Employees are encouraged to take risks, and leaders are seen as innovators or entrepreneurs.
Sophie Wisbrun – “In this research I miss the Purpose Driven Culture that stimulates the speed of trust :-). A great example of a purposeful culture is Tony’s Chocolonely or Terracycle – they have strong values that come across the everyday actions of all employees . In the end a culture based on strong values is one, the second more important step is action : the everyday actions and behaviours of employees and stakeholders of the company..”
Here is a link to the NETFLIX culture manifesto that is seen as one of the best practices: https://jobs.netflix.com/culture/#introduction
Mark Scheipner suggests to take a look at the way Wholefoods uses culture; Why Whole Foods Builds Its Entire Business On Teams in this Forbes article. “Employees at Whole Foods Market are called “team members,” which is neither a corporate euphemism nor a meaningless cliché. Teams and team members — not positions, stores or regions — are central to the operational core of Whole Foods and the building blocks of the organization.” click here for the full article