Does Company Culture Indeed Eat Strategy For Breakfast?
In September, 2016, 1,348 leaders were interviewed by researchers at Duke and Columbia University for their paper, “Corporate Culture: Evidence from the Field.”
Their research was full of great takeaways regarding the importance of building a company culture that binds. However, perhaps the most striking is that many executives do indeed support the phrase coined by Peter Drucker that, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”
“Executives highlight that culture can circumvent mistakes in a way that other executive actions, formal institutions, or corporate assets cannot. Many executives believe culture contributes more to firm value than strategy does. For example, a company performs better with a strong culture and weak strategy than the other way around.”
We all love the idea of creating a strong company culture, and for good reason, the companies that embrace creating a strong work environment, have more engaged employees, which research has shown equates to a stronger bottom line. The question then becomes, “How do you go about creating it?”
Below are 6 ways that you can begin to do just that.
1. Encourage and embrace openness:
Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater, in his book, “Principles,” provides a masterclass in the benefits of creating an environment of “radical transparency” for all employees.
Founder of The Huffington Post and Thrive Global, Arianna Huffington, supports this policy as well. “Every time a mistake or failure comes to light, and lessons are drawn from whatever went wrong, a company is a step closer to a culture built for growth rather than just maintenance.”
Strong teams come in many shapes and sizes, but the idea of everyone having a voice runs consistent.
In a future post we will be going into identifying the best questions to ask employees to improve employee transparency, therefore, improving your company culture. But to wet your beak a little, here is a taste of the questions you can ask employees to get them talking openly about their thoughts, feelings and ideas, courtesy of Conor Neill, President of Vistage Spain, and owner of a Youtube channel on all things leadership and communication. “What’s working? What isn’t? What would you change? What else?”
2. Create an environment that embraces new hires:
In the last post we went over ways in which you can make new hires feel welcome, but it bears repeating. If employees are acknowledged properly from day one, the faster they will feel like contributing members of the team, resulting in making a faster impact.
To learn more about some ideas that you can begin implementing today, click here.
3. Be Proactive With Long Work Stretches By Creatively Breaking Up The Monotony:
The work year has a handful of long stretches that make it hard to keep employees engaged. Break out your calendar today and be proactive in identifying these times and try to mix things up in a few spots with either team activities, company outings, or just a company Happy Hour.
Everyone needs something to look forward to, and if you proactively make this happen, your bottom line will thank you for it.
Interested in a few ideas on which activities best suit your employees? Click here to set up a time to speak with one of our customer success representatives today!
4. Set Up Guest Speaker Events:
Many companies look for outside industry leaders to come into the office to energise their employees and build their creative muscle. This is great and by no means do not stop doing this. However, do not forget that inside your company walls are thought leaders as well. Not only can ideas be generated, but relationships can be strengthened by asking employees from Department A to give a talk to Department B and vice versa.
“Growing is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.” – James Cash Penney (you guessed it – founder of J.C Penney)
Speaking of strengthening company lines…
5. Plan weekly or monthly one-on-one lunches with people from different departments:
History books are filled with success stories where two people heading in the same direction, but taking different paths, met up and created something new or solved a nagging problem.
Do not leave this magic to chance and proactively encourage your team members to get to know other members of the company. Great companies always have an “AND” – great products “AND” incredible customer service. Strong sales team “AND” solid tech support. Like Mr. Penney implied in the quote above, this does not happen by chance, but rather prioritising relationships in order that 1 “AND” 1 creates 3.
6. Ask Your Team What Could Better Bring Them Together:
This may sound like a no-brainer, but between deadlines, new projects, and the never endings dings that interrupt our days, asking the simple questions on how to improve the company culture can get lost in the shuffle. But if you want to create where the environment does indeed “eat strategy for breakfast,” make the time to get your team together, your employees will thank you for it – and as a result so will your bottom line.
Schedule in open “no-tech” brainstorming sessions, recognise and reward accomplishments publicly, schedule an innovation day. The list goes on and on, and over the coming weeks we will be adding in ideas on how to create a culture that binds from industry leaders, so stay tuned and subscribe to Tradler’s Knowledge Corner.
Tradler Co – Empower your team