Culture is the defining characteristic of any company, good or bad. Many people argue that culture eats strategy for breakfast, but to have a truly rewarding work experience, strategy must be fueled by culture and vise versa. Instead of viewing these ideologies as conflicting, we need to not only blend culture and strategy together, but actually depend on that synergy for operations to be optimized.
Many tools to manage and track company culture have been developed, such as the Human Capability Scorecard (HCS) highlighted in the Harvard Business Review article “Maximizing Your Return on People” by Laurie Bassi and Dan McMurrer Harvard Business Review, March 2007. The HCS Scorecard seeks to derive HR metrics that relate to outcomes or contribute to value creation through different metrics that can be determined by the organization. These metrics provide clarity and guidance as to how employee’s strengths can be best utilized and how to help employees reach their full potential.
Another powerful tool is Appreciative Inquiry, which starts with a core group identifying 3-5 organizational strengths and then conducting interviews of a broad cross-section of employees to collect stories that illustrate the core strengths. These stories are then transformed into key elements that are then integrated into the processes and structures of the organization.
In addition, you can create a Culture Management Plan (CMP) that identifies what the current company culture is, highlights any gaps that exist between desired and expected values, and then sets objectives and goals for closing those gaps identified to further build upon the organization’s culture strengths. CMP’s help you identify and assess where the organization is headed and gives you a great tool for communicating ideas and how to share a common vision of the how the company operates can be viewed just like any strategic plan would be.
About the Author
Vanessa Shaw has spent the last 15 years of her career working on culture. Vanessa believes that culture is something we can all take ownership of, and everyone deserves to have a workplace experience they love.
Throughout her career, whether it’s delivering a workshop, guiding a team through culture change, or presenting as a keynote, her goal is always the same; to inspire pros to take action. Building Culture Summit is how Vanessa and co-founder Hung Pham we are taking action, and their goal is to inspire and empower you to do the same.
Please share your thoughts about what your favorite tools are and keep the conversation going with Vanessa at @CultureSummitSF.