Unknown Facts About Culture Codex

Posted by on Dec 9, 2018 in Business |

Imagine the following: A manager meets with her team to review progress. She’s bright and upbeat and passionate about performance. Mindful of the current situation she takes care not to blame or judge anyone. She knows that emotions can lead to conflict so she’s alert to how people are feeling. She keeps the meeting focused on delivering results but also takes the time to nurture her people and check that the processes are working. As she looks to the future she sees the consequences, both positive and negative, of the actions they are agreeing. With clarity about what’s needed and the resources available, they develop a simple strategy to take into action. Before she finishes she has one last check that she has heard from everyone and that there is enthusiasm to move forward.¬†You may find more information at www.culturecodex.com.

What distinguishes this leader’s ability to create a high performance organization? At one level it is her knowledge, experience and talent. However, at another more fundamental level, it is her beliefs – belief in herself and belief in what creates a high performance organization and team. It is becoming increasingly accepted that BELIEFS (together with values, attitudes, opinions and expectations) influence THOUGHTS that, in turn, determine WORDS (including the constant self-talk about our self and others), that finally drive our BEHAVIOUR. Even when there is focus on behaviour, the strategy is usually to make people change their behaviour without understanding that behaviour is ultimately driven by belief. If the belief does not change then there is no sustainable change to behaviour.

“Over 70% of all change initiatives in corporations do not deliver the required results,” and “the most common cause of failure… insufficient focus on people.” The independent studies from the London Business School and Harvard University that produced these results underline the importance of culture (the collective beliefs of the organization) when trying to bring about the change needed to create high performance organisations. Another study by study by Kotter and Heskett of 207 top firms over an 11- year period demonstrates the effect of organisational culture on performance. They distinguished between an adaptive or constructive culture (goal- focused, accountable, ethical, encouraging and open) and an un-adaptive or defensive culture (maintaining bureaucracy, dependence, and punishment of mistakes). The difference in results is staggering: Over an 11-year period these 207 top firms produced the following performance:

Adaptive Culture – increase in revenue 682%, stock price 901%, net income 756%. Un-adaptive Culture – increase in revenue 166%, stock price 74%, net income 1%. So it is clear that if leaders want high performance they must discourage an un-adaptive culture including aggressive/defensive styles – that focus on competition, opposition, perfection and power, and passive/aggressive styles – that focus on avoidance, convention, approval and dependence. Instead they must encourage a more adaptive culture – that value affiliation and encourages self-actualization and is achievement focused, as the leader in the introduction does.