By Wilma I. Miranda
With the fast-changing world and the way of doing business undergoing a lot of transformation, the need for the right culture is more important than ever. Values are created when the right culture is being practiced in the business. But sometimes there are businesses that do not even know what the prevailing culture of the company is and therefore employees are not properly being oriented and at a limbo too, what defines the company in terms of its culture.
In a recent article dated March 23, 2018, in Wall Street Journal by Irving Wladawsky-Berger, it says that the “company’s ability to formulate and execute upon a transformational strategy, few factors, if any, are more influential than its culture.” It quoted Lou Gerstner – Chairman and CEO of IBM Corp. from 1993 to 2002 who wrote that “culture isn’t just one aspect of the game – it is the game.”
A company’s culture is usually shown in the values, norms, and behavior of its people. That is the reason why sometimes, when a new management takes over a certain business, they want to have their own people to work for them. For instance, when a company is bought by another company, and if the stockholders see a need to change the culture of the acquired company to conform to the buyer company, they will bring in their own people to work for them particularly for the top management positions.
On the other hand, an existing company where management sees a need to improve the existing culture or if not trying to totally change it to meet their goals of transformation, will either likely hire new blood to help improve or transform the culture or implement a lot of activities to communicate and implement the culture they want to adapt to prepare for the future transformation.
Culture has a significant impact on the strategic direction of a company. For instance, if you want to create a passionate work culture in your company, you will likely hire people who are inclined and would love to do the work you assigned to them more than credentials. If you hire people who will just use the company as a means to gain experience or as a stepping stone that they will be able to pursue a different passion than what you have in your company, your business will likely be used more as a training center than a place to build their career.
The need for values like integrity and honesty is also crucial in creating a culture of the right values in the workplace. If you are the leader of the organization, you need to communicate the values that the organization should practice. Communication is not just talking but listening to your people and see if the values you have in mind are at sync. And you also have to listen to external voices – your clients, the market, the industry you are in – whether these are all in sync with the values that you want to be embedded in the culture of the company.
Be ready to be discouraged because not all our expectations maybe met. That is why communication is important and crucial in creating the right culture in the organization. And if despite the constant communication and reminders and even activities performed, to influence the right culture in the company, if there are still “chaff” present in the organization, the business will be far off better without them by replacing them.
The right culture is a good culture but it needs to be revisited as the company evolves and the company grows or the market demands grow. The important thing to remember is, a business does not need to spend so much to have the right culture. When its people feel safe and develop, not only in terms of their knowledge and expertise but in their total person as a whole – physical, emotional and even spiritual – in other words a holistic approach – it will translate to better business and better services to clients.
(Wilma Miranda is the Managing Partner of Inventor, Miranda & Associates, CPAs, BOD Member of KPS Outsourcing, Inc. and Treasurer of Negros Outsourcing Services, Inc. The opinions expressed herein are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of these institutions) [email protected]