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Organisational Culture

On July 16, 2019 in peopleware 3 minutes read

Table of Contents

Culture is defined as commonly held ideas, beliefs and practices within a collective, and it’s one of the most critical and dynamic elements of organisational design.

Having a strong culture ensures that employees within a certain organization have a sense of unity and something in common. This makes company culture a major influencer on an employee’s decision to choose one organization over another.

More specifically, culture is the personality or character of an organization; this character is created by everything an organization has learned in its history, while dealing with external challenges and internally how we relate to each other.

Shaping and Reinforcing Culture

A company culture shapes its personality, and it realizes in the form of set of rules and regulations as well in employees’ behavior and way of work.

Culture is highly impacted by the values defined by the company, but it’s not just about what the firm says it “values”, but also about by what management focuses on, which in turn defines what’s expected of its employees.

Management can shape and reinforce culture by defining:

Culture as a Competitive Advantage

An innovative, flexible and positive culture can be a competitive advantage to a company by creating operational efficiency, the ability to react quickly to market changes or opportunities, and becoming a desirable workplace for high quality resources.

Value based strategy creation

By keeping a company’s culture and values at the forefront, management can define more meaningful strategies that amplify its strengths and mitigate its weaknesses, in turn making execution more likely to succeed.

The steps for a value driven strategy are:

  1. Develop fundamental value and beliefs;
  2. Design management and hiring practices that reflect these values;
  3. Cultivate core competencies that reflect these values;
  4. Build strategy with values and competencies;
  5. Sustain culture by leadership.

Innovative culture

By fostering an innovative culture, company can become more resilience to external disruptive events, by reinventing itself in the face of adversities, and to make the creation of breakthroughs achievements more likely.

The key attributes to this type of culture include creating a sense of community, trust and fearlessness. Executing in an innovative culture requires management to amplify the capability of the organisation in:

Relationship between Culture and HR

HR is fundamental for supporting the reinforcement of the desired culture, with practices like:

Company <> Employee Relationship

In shaping the relationship of employees with a company, two human resource philosophies that are implemented in organizations, with profoundly different effects.

The goal of both philosophies is to:

Picking the right one can be tricky, as each has its pros and cons.

High Commitment Work Force

For most of the 20th century, the main HR philosophy was about stability, with employees committed to the company and with secure jobs, with high loyalty and low turnover.

This philosophy has 5 pillars:

High Flexibility Work Force

Nowadays, rapid and unpredictable changes are common, and a more successful philosophy might be in favor of adaptability and creativity.

In this approach, the company boundaries are less defined, as our values expand beyond our organisation by maintaining a rich employee alumni network: it’s the company’s reputation leads top professionals to wanting to be part of the organization when opportunities arise.

The pillars of this philosophy are:

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