Management guru Peter Drucker is credited with saying that “culture eats strategy for lunch.” It is hard to find any leader who doesn’t think so but many don’t understand what their own culture is like. It can be the blind leading the blind some days. Much of building a culture is about intentionality, particularly when it comes down to a customer focus.
Culture can make or break the success of a company, which can be a scary phenomenon for executives. While leaders tend to be comfortable around strategy discussions, they’re often painfully awkward discussing corporate culture.
What Exactly is Organizational Culture?
Culture is how employees think, believe, and act.
- Think: Employees are intellectually bought-in and understand the company’s vision and why it is important to the company. What is the company communicating?
- Believe: Employees see that leaders are truly committed to what is important to the company. What are leaders demonstrating with their behaviors?
- Act. Employees adjust their behaviors to align with what is important to the company. What do employees do when no one is looking?
Companies often focus on the think level, hoping that a barrage of communications can drive culture change. Well it can’t. You need to develop plans that deal with all three levels: Think, Believe, and Act.
Do our leaders:
- Understand why customers, not products, are all important to our efforts?
- Demonstrate a true commitment to the customer experience?
- Support alignment to the customer vision?