“Culture eats strategy for breakfast” was a term coined by Mark Fields, President of Ford who attributed it to organisational management guru Peter Drucker. This mentality has been the adopted mindset of many successful business leaders, with a positive, collaborative culture being highlighted as the most important factor in business growth. Below we’ll discuss how to start establishing a strong culture within your business and why it is so important to do so.
How you can establish culture within your business
First, it’s critical to understand that as the leader of your organisation, you are inexorably linked to the culture that your company will embody. Your culture should help to guide the decisions the business makes to reach its goals, influencing both everyday activity and longer-term objectives. To encourage your team to adopt the culture you wish to see running throughout the business, you should write a core cultural statement. This statement can refer to the mission statement of your business but go one step further, considering the behaviours you will embody and the relationships you will work to build as you achieve your goals.
Writing it down is one thing but the next bit is the hardest and the most important: you need to role-model that culture at all times in your behaviours, words and deeds. The behaviours and moods at the centre of an organisation spread throughout so the leadership team need to be shining examples of what you want to achieve.
Why is it so important to establish a company culture?
Establishing a culture which reflects the aims and objectives of your company and which can work as a guiding force in decisions that need to be made is critical if you are to be successful. For starters, a clear culture makes recruitment decisions much easier. When you interview someone around their values and assess whether they personify the culture of your business, you are making a decision based on that person’s shared desire to help the business succeed. Skills weaknesses can be improved upon with training and are far easier to improve than trying to teach someone to represent your culture. For example, Timpson’s recruit purely on character and culture: everything else can be learned at a later date.
A strong culture also helps all the different departments within the business work more collaboratively as one team. You’re all working from the same set of guiding principles, and so the end goal is the same for everyone, regardless of their role within the business.
If you are looking to collaborate with someone who can help to inspire and transform the culture in the organisation you are responsible for leading, then St Andrew’s Consulting is here to help. To learn more about how we can support you to develop your own leadership journey, click here.
Image credit: Group of happy business people clapping their hands by tec_estromberg licensed under Creative commons 4