Recognize This! – Culture cannot be ignored, hoped for, or passively addressed. It must be proactively managed, encouraged and supported.

Sometimes, others simply say it better than I can. Indeed, I enjoy featuring these authors and their works as I hope they inspire you as much as they do me.

Today, I’m featuring lessons on culture from Management Issues and a guest post on Tanveer Naseer’s blog (both perennial favourites of mine).

From Rene Carayol in Management Issues:

Culture is the only differentiator that can’t be copied.

“The most important thing about culture is that it’s the only sustainable point of difference for any organisation. Anyone can copy your strategy, but nobody can copy your culture. So why would you leave it untended?”

Culture must supersede the individual to inspire and embrace everyone.

“The best businesses are the ones that have a culture that has grown to be bigger and stronger than any one individual. If your culture is strong then it gains power through inspiring your people to conform to it. It becomes the thing that links everyone together, no matter what department they’re in. If your people become engaged with the company, the strategy is more likely to be ‘owned’ by all and focussed upon.”

Culture must be grounded in core values, leadership and trust.

“The culture of a company relies on there being a clear set of values, strong leadership and a sense of transparency and honesty between the company and the public. These factors will be the ones that differentiate your company in times of austerity and increased competition. Of course strategy is important but this must be accompanied by a strong culture if lasting success is to be won.”

From Tanveer Naseer, in a guest post by Dr. George H. Labovitz and Victor Rosansky:

Culture is the secret ingredient to keep employees in alignment with goals, strategies and values.

“Alignment is the state in which the key elements of an organisation — its people, strategy, customers, and processes — work in concert to serve the primary purpose of the enterprise: increasing value for stakeholders. Whatever the enterprise or its goals, the degree to which those key elements are integrated and work in concert will determine how quickly and successfully it will fulfill its primary purpose.

“Think of culture playing the role of greasing the skids making alignment to market conditions faster and smoother. Culture is the “magic sauce” that blends people’s beliefs, attitudes, values and behaviours into the capabilities necessary to create change and execute.”

What are other important culture lessons you wish others understood?

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