CULTURE = WHAT WE THINK/FEEL/DO = OUR COLLECTIVE BEHAVIOR
That’s why culture is involved everywhere and in everything we do in the company. What we think, feel, and do about our strategy. What we think, feel, and do about our finances, customers, products, and processes. And the same applies to management, teams, individuals, and, not least, our guidelines in our mission, vision, and values.
Culture & bottom line
Culture is everywhere and is not just – as many believe – what our job satisfaction or engagement surveys show! That’s only a very small part of the culture.
For the past 20 years, we have performed culture analyses for a large number of companies on more than 300,000 people. Across industries, we have discovered a 95% correlation between the culture and the bottom line.
When we beat the competition, is it because we have better products, better processes, more talented people, better marketing? Not really. It’s because we have a better culture overall.
Companies with a strong and healthy culture in all areas are simply invincible – and while our strategy, products, marketing, and processes can be replicated, it’s virtually impossible to replicate the culture. That’s why your strongest competitive parameter is a strong culture.
When we’re among the 10% of companies that get more out of a strategy than expected – unlike the 70% who fail – is it because our strategy is better? No. It’s because we have a culture – that is, a performance-enhancing behavior – that supports the strategy instead of working against it.
Culture & change
Change is always challenging for people – or rather, for the brain. From cognitive research, we know that people who are subjected to change experience a strong increase in the activity of the brain’s survival center. This means that they produce a vast amount of stress hormones. But the experience of change differs. Employees in a high-performance culture strive for change – and employees in a low-performance culture fear change.
All strategies have a strong element of change, otherwise there would be no need for them. This requires a new behavior/culture – and that is the biggest and hardest part of strategy implementation.
This requires that we, as top management, understand how to produce the right thoughts, feelings, and actions in ourselves, our manager, and our employees. How do we get them to understand and care about the strategy we want to implement? How do we create ownership? How do we get the managers to work with the strategy in the right way? How do we measure whether our culture is changing in the right direction, so that we’ll succeed with the strategy?