What is Organizational Culture?
We hear Culture trumps everything, or this organization has a great culture, or the problem with this group is the culture. We often hear leaders lament, “we need a change of culture,” yet what does that really mean?
Culture can be seen and felt when it is present, or noticed when it is not. Yet, it seems to be nearly impossible to really get your hands around it. What are the measurements of a good culture? Some measurements are quite simple; improved productivity, increased worker engagement, and higher organizational performance are a few that demonstrate an improved or transformed culture. In addition, an increase in communication, higher level of affiliative behavior, more humane environment, and most of all measurable accomplishments, are all signs of a high-functioning culture.
Culture is the vessel in which organizations operate. What makes this particularly challenging is culture is not seen, nor do we tend to speak about it until it is not working. The human system that exists inside your organization is your culture, and, like all systems it requires nurturing and attention. Minimally, all systems require maintenance to sustain a solid operating condition. Culture and human systems are no different.
What Happened, What’s Missing?
Culture is the human system inside organizations. Many are untrained in how to recognize or view the human system as an integral part of our organizations. For the longest time, people have been taken for granted in one way or another, and have often been thought of as “lucky to have a job with the company.”
Businesses are often focused on strategy of operations, financials or technology. All are critically important, but the one singular competitive distinction you have is your people. Your unique collection of humans is a system, and their effectiveness is very dependent on their perception of how they are developed, valued, and mostly importantly authentically appreciated by the leadership in your company. Again, many do not typically notice culture until it becomes a symptom of a fractured system, and that by definition is taking people for granted.
The human system is an integral element in the performance of any organization. At KeenAlignment, we have a unique perspective and a proven process to cultivate a cultural shift that produces accomplishments, higher performance, and stronger levels of affiliation by the organization’s people. This permits the people of the organization a possibility to achieve greater fulfillment, satisfaction and experience themselves becoming self-actualized, all while creating a humanistic work environment.
The result is breakthrough organizational performance, higher customer service levels, along with greater levels of engagement and fulfillment by the people in the organization.
We bring clarity to the beginning of your cultural journey. We move onto the next step, which creates alignment of your organization’s people with the possibilities of the journey we begin towards your ideal culture.
“Transformation begins with a powerful relationship to what is so.”
– Werner Erhard
How Does That Happen?
In any attempt to shift any system or culture (or anything for that matter), you must begin at where you are in the present. Much like when you stop and assess your location to a destination on your GPS, you must first locate your starting point; on a map this is the “you are here” arrow. That is where the shift begins. How we find it is through the asking of your people.
Actual/Ideal Culture Survey
We inquire of your leaders and people. We find out what is working, what is not working and most importantly, what is desired. We listen, we inquire, and most of all we engage with curiosity.
When the survey is complete we benchmark it. We show you specifically where you are at with your culture, what is working, what is not working as well as you would like, and what people desire and actually want. We get very clear where your organization’s “you are here” is. This is the inception of your cultural transformation.
Got Culture Change Management?
Cultural Kick Start
This is the moment we share with your key stakeholders what we are about to embark upon. We let them know that the journey and plan is a direct action to what they shared with us. We bring clarity to the beginning of your cultural journey. We move onto the next step, which creates alignment of your organization’s people with the possibilities of the journey we begin towards developing your ideal culture. They get to experience being heard and their voice is a contribution to the transformation.
People and key stakeholders are introduced to liberating structures that increase effectiveness, while removing obstacles from the work they do. They strengthen their accountability level in cadence to a heightened level of operation. With freedom comes responsibility, and this becomes an elevated adult conversation focused on engagement for an improved workplace.
This communication defines what is needed for the cultural transformation to be successful, as well as our partnership and support through the unique steps we take. The roadmap is shared and your people become enrolled into fully committing to be involved in shifting the culture, or not. They get to choose. This is the pathway to achieve the ideal culture the collective people in the organization said they desire.
If this is a yes for your cultural needs, then our Level Set is the next step in the process.
This is where visible momentum can be felt and seen.
The people start to become real and not just titles in the organization. They tell the truth about where they have been holding back. They create a collective commitment, they see each other as powerful teammates vs. obstacles or rivals, and they tell the truth about it. Your human system becomes professionally authentic as a collective team.
Constraints and limits that people have been avoiding or working around become visible. People start to fully own their role and create alliances with others to create solutions that lead to breakthrough results. People learn and engage, generating the results required and creating predictable and reliable results. They also learn the elements of a highly-functioning team. When breakdowns occur, people have a structure to fall back on to solve issues and challenges with power and momentum.
With the conclusion of our Level Set, you get a team committed and aligned to fulfill on why they came together. There is a solid and visible change in their level of engagement, an alignment to the future they are out to create, along with a shared understanding, language and context for the team. These people leave the Level Set program with a relatedness to one another they likely never had before.
Our Level Set transforms your team’s state of being.
Once people shift within the existing human system, the organization must initiate alignment of the actions and tasks to best accomplish the company’s objectives and fulfill on its purpose. Our Strategic Advance is created to support the shift efficiently and swiftly. We define and align on the Mission, Vision and Values (MVVs) of your organization. Many organizations already have those created. Occasionally, there is a need to revisit existing MVVs and we facilitate this process, most often though, we partner in elevating awareness to your MVVs. The Mission, Vision and Values move from words on a paper, or at best a good idea, to a constitution, a reason for being and a purpose for the people of the human system’s existence within an organization.
The Strategic Advance institutes a structure in which the human systems operate. This becomes a playbook as we clearly articulate the anchors of your organization along with the core focus. We facilitate the creation of your Brand Promise. This is the integration of the human expression into the organizational activities, and is where people begin to see themselves as integral solutions to the success of the entity, regardless of their position.
When your collective people achieve this level of commitment and alignment inside the organization, accountability becomes an opportunity of expression for the people elevating culture and human systems. We partner to move the “big rocks” that forward the organization to openly identify, discuss, and solve issues.
Our Process; Our Commitment
We exist to create empowered, successful and effective organizations. We are committed to transform the experience of work in today’s world. Our strength is the ability to create a shift in culture and partner with you to maintain that shift, permitting you and your organization to consistently fulfill on your Brand Promise.
Ready for Organizational Culture
What You Can Expect
The results you get are in direct correlation to the effort and work you do; there are no magic wands. If you are like our other customers (and no doubt you are), you can expect a number of these results working with KeenAlignment:
Benefits of Organizational Culture Transformation
• ROI of 3-10x, depending on program(s) selection
• Communication breakthroughs
• People listen actively and work on tangible issues
• Addressing challenges and problems are direct, clear and effective
• Customer interaction and satisfaction increase
• Increased levels of engagement, previously unseen
• Job and work ownership is observed daily
• Solutions to challenges and issues are swift and valuable
• People laughing and enjoying their work
• Leaders let go of having to have the answer and delegate successfully
• Clearer opportunities for improved performance
• Shorter meetings with clear action items and ownership accountability
• Innovation is present, clearing obstacles
• Ease and flow in the environment, reduced tension
• Respect and professionalism towards others
• Timely and solid service recovery
• Problems are expeditiously brought to the forefront
• Authentic feedback in real time
• Sleepless nights and worrying decline
• Mission engagement by the people
• Work satisfaction improves
• Feeling alone, becomes being a team
• Enhancement of business operations (cost reduction, increased revenue, lower turnover and absenteeism, greater performance and productivity)
Results of Working with KeenAlignment
The result of working with KeenAlignment is you get to start being and doing what you know is needed. We bring clarity and mindfulness to getting it done the right way with you, your culture, and organization.
Bottom Line Results
You and your people live the mission and vision of your organization, honoring your values, and being passionately engaged in the organization we know you are dedicated to. You are the source for sustaining a desired and invigorated culture, allowing you to be inspired by who you get to be.
Cultural Alignment Infographic
Read KeenAlignment articles on Organizational Culture
Real leaders, wrote the novelist David Foster Wallace, are people who “help us overcome the...
There is a famous parable shared with business students in colleges across America, used to...
The best way to improve employee engagement and create a winning corporate culture is to...