Personalising Organisational culture

October/November 2011

Dear clients,

LeMaSa is still full steam ahead on this track called 2011! I attended the International Congress on Assessment Center Methods in the USA early in October. As you can see in the picture – we did have some fun too!

LeMaSa picked up some tips on the use of electronic and virtual assessments at the conference that we are keen to show to all our clients. For next year we are planning a few client contact sessions to show you the new technology and also show to you how it can make Assessment Centre technology even more targeted.

In this edition of the LeMaSa Chronicle we discuss the important role of personalising organisational culture. Experience has shown that Collaborative Assessment Centres can play an effective role in this regard. We also review some ideas on high-performance cultures in organisations.

We wish you a fruitful dash to the end of the year – we know you have have thousands of things to do before the holidays!

Warm regards

Sandra Schlebusch

Personalising Organisational culture
Personalising Organisational culture

The Culture and Change Steward is one of the six competency domains rated by the fifth round of the HR Competency Study (HRCS) as the second-highest in predicting performance of both HR Professionals and HR departments’ effectiveness (above Strategy Architect and Talent Manager/Organisation Designer).

One of the aspects included in this role is the issue of personalising culture.

An HR Professional that successfully personalises culture:

· Helps employees find purpose and meaning in their work. When a business has successfully personalised culture, employees understand exactly how their job benefits the company and how it benefits himself/herself.

· Creat es a cul ture where employees are valued, not just as employees, but as people.

· Seeks to understand what constitutes abundance for employees. This may include things such as work/life balance, flexible schedules, tuition reimbursement, etc.

When the culture of an organisation becomes personal, it moves from a wish-list of descriptive sentences regarding what their organisation would like to be, to a cohesive integration of what they have actually realised. This kind of culture is recognised by both internal and external stakeholders.

and people-orientated. This high degree of comfort means that all the energy of the group can be directed towards the task(s) in hand.

There is a need at most organisations to develop the executive team’s “leadership process” as a critical driver in the team’s ability to meet the demands of the business environment, execute its business strategy, build a culture of engaged employees, and succeed long-term. It is also necessary to ensure that the team works effectively through all the development stages to get to the “Performing” stage as quickly as possible.

A High-Performance Culture
There is no perfect organisational culture. An organisation's culture is unique and special and it evolves from all the experiences, growth, and development that have already occurred. So while there is no ideal to aspire to, what you do want to do is set in place characteristics that will help your organisation adapt to whatever comes its way. Two decades of research shows that an organisation’s culture is the key factor in its performance. A multi-year Harvard Business school study on the links between corporate culture and performance found that high-performance cultures resulted in 682% revenue growth versus just 166% for low performing cultures. Net income growth was 756% versus 1%! The accelerating pace of change, new technologies, customer demands, e-commerce, workforce demographics, business model challenges, fierce competition, shareholder expectations, margin pressures, shrinking cycle times, shifting work ethics, and the like are pulling organisations in many directions. Now, more than ever, organisations need the bonding glue of a strong culture to hold everything and everyone together. High performing organisations pull together the intangible leadership issues that define their unique character and rally people around a deeper sense of purpose. These powerful feelings are made tangible through the strong implementation of management processes and systems that translate ideals into action. It’s recognising that vision without an action plan is just a dream. Action without a vision is drudgery. High-performance organisations don't take culture for granted; they manage it. By definition, one of the main differences between high-performance cultures and low-performance ones, is their ability to adapt and change. In general terms, a low-performance organisation is one in which there are many barriers to change. Companies with high-performance values and behaviours inspire loyalty from employees, who want to stay and be part of a team. They create advocates, who are positive about the business to customers, colleagues and recruits. They generate commitment to go the extra mile, and to do the right thing, rather than necessarily just the easy thing. High Performance Characteristics Cultural Barriers Empowered people and cross-functional communication. Turf-building and hierarchical organisational structures. Open, honest and flowing communication. Hidden agendas, dishonesty, lack of openness. Trust and confidence. Distrust and fear. Long-term, quality, service and excellence. Short-term, strictly bottom-line. Customer-oriented, externally focused. Task-oriented, internally focused. "Can-do" spirit. "Cannot be done" attitude. Personal responsibility. Blame and making excuses. Embracing new ideas. Prejudiced and judgmental. Innovation, ingenuity, breakthroughs. Holding on to the past, resistance to change. Flexible, fluid and rapidly responsive. Strict rules and rigid policies. Win/Win. Win/Lose.