Organizational Culture & Values

Ten Article Recommendations on the Topic of Corporate Culture

Corporate culture has been described as “the values and behaviors that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of the organization.” Culture is not only a fascinating topic, but one of the most important for executives to understand.

The following ten articles where selected as recommended reading for business executives interested in improving corporate culture. We hope that you will find value in reading each of these article choices and will share them with colleagues that might also benefit from this content.


Does You Culture Match Your Business ModelDoes You Culture Match Your Business Model?

Summary:

An understanding how organizational culture and business service models align is the bedrock foundation to form strategy upon – yet this critical relationship is often missed in organizational development and planning. In last week’s post, four primary business model signatures were outlined. This article examines the components of culture as well as the most common cultural signatures, exploring the alignments of those with organization structure.

> Read: Does You Culture Match Your Business Model?



Six Things CEOs Should Know About Corporate Core ValuesSix Things CEOs Should Know About Corporate Core Values

Summary:

Organizational core values are a primary determinant of culture, employee satisfaction and business performance. This article addresses six core value topics that CEOs and business executives should know about.

> Read: Six Things CEOs Should Know About Corporate Core Values



Does Organizational Culture MatterDoes Organizational Culture Matter? (2-part Series)

Summary:

It is arguable that organizational culture gets more press than just about any business topic out there today. Some attribute problems in operational execution with an issue in the culture of the organization. Most would agree that a certain type of culture is required to be innovative and excel in developing breakthrough technologies and services. Everyone can get on board with the assertion that businesses are formed to produce financial returns. If so, culture would appear to only matter if it is integral to improved financial performance. That statement, however, presents a challenge. Empirical evidence linking culture to performance is largely missing. That can be attributed to the fuzzy definitions of culture, therefore obfuscating what it means to organizations. Sometimes even diagnosing a need for cultural change is among the most difficult of tasks to complete in the overall job of correcting sub-par business results. By defining culture in real-life terms, it can take on a more meaningful form that allows leaders to identify cultural characteristics and better determine if problems exists, then how to go about making change if it is required.

The first segment of a two part article series looks at some criteria to help identify culture hotspots and make the determination if problems exist. The second of this article explores how changes can be made to culture, once problems are identified.

> Read: Does Organizational Culture Matter? (2-part series)



A Fish Rots From the HeadA Fish Rots From the Head: A Commentary On Corporate Culture

Summary:

Recently, a well-respected Chairman and CEO in the financial services industry shared an old saying with me. He said, “A fish rots from the head.” We were speaking about organizational culture at the time and the point he was making is that an organization’s culture originates from the top of the company. Of course, his statement is true, but that’s only a part of the culture puzzle.

> Read: A Fish Rots From the Head: A Commentary On Corporate Culture



Why Organizational Innovation Is So DifficultWhy Organizational Innovation Is So Difficult

Summary:

In all ecosystems, organisms that evolve to survive the elements of their environments will likely continue their existence. Those that do not continue to evolve will most likely perish. Likewise, for business organizations to evolve, they must innovate their products, services, technologies, policies, processes and structures to capitalize on social, economic and industry trends within their environment. This is easier said than done. Organizational Evolution theory indicates that improvements through innovation are challenged by the complexity of business structures themselves, compounded by our own inability to comprehend the impacts of innovative ideas when presented with them. So what does it mean to evolve an organization and what are the secrets to doing it successfully?

> Read: Why Organizational Innovation Is So Difficult



Anchor To Your Core ValuesAnchor To Your Core Values

Summary:

Organizational core values do more than just promote ethical business practices. The system of core values that your organization owns will shape the culture of the enterprise, the decision-making criteria of your managers and the actions of your employees. The more strongly defined the organization’s core values, the more likely that this value system will serve as a code of conduct that promotes and guides strategically-aligned behaviors within managers and employees.

> Read: Anchor To Your Core Values



Corporate StrategyCorporate Strategy: Is “Groupthink” Damaging Your Organization?

Summary:

Strategies that fail to deliver on their promises are often built upon flawed logic and / or incorrect underlying assumptions. It is strikingly apparent that flawed strategies can be the result of groupthink. So what is groupthink and what can be done to reverse it? Psychologist Irving Janis, a widely-recognized authority on the subject, defined groupthink as, “a mode of thinking that people engage in when they are deeply involved in a cohesive in-group, when the members’ strivings for unanimity override their motivation to realistically appraise alternative courses of action.”

> Read: Corporate Strategy: Is “Groupthink” Damaging Your Organization?



Organizational AuthenticityOrganizational Authenticity

Summary:

Authentic organizations deliver on their promises. They make sure that their reputations truly match the reality their customers experience. They deliver on quality and service “promises” by actually providing what they say they offer and they do so consistently.  To pull that off, it takes alignment of culture from the top of the organization to the bottom – based on an uncompromising fidelity to the organization’s core values. There is no other way to insure a passion for excellence and adherence to the company’s mission that extends to all ranks of the organization, in good times or in bad.

> Read: Organizational Authenticity



Measuring and Maintaining Employee HappinessMeasuring and Maintaining Employee Happiness

Summary:

Organizations thrive on having happy employees, yet our own actions as leaders constantly serve to compromise that happiness. It is not intentional, mind you. Good leaders introduce strategic transformation in order to evolve and improve the business. We all know that organizations are in a continuous cycle of change and that strategies unfold through corporate initiatives, causing impacts to structure, process and people. What is all to often forgotten in all of this is that strategies and plans themselves do not capture value; value is realized only through the sustained, collective actions of the dozens, hundreds, thousands or perhaps the tens of thousands of committed employees who are responsible for designing, executing, and living with the changed environment. This article offers some practical methods for measuring and maintaining employee happiness.

> Read: Measuring and Maintaining Employee Happiness



Business On The Ropes: Instilling a Culture of Consequences When Your Organization Has Lost Its Drive 

Summary:

Organizations thrive on having happy employees, yet our own actions as leaders constantly serve to compromise that happiness. It is not intentional, mind you. Good leaders introduce strategic transformation in order to evolve and improve the business. We all know that organizations are in a continuous cycle of change and that strategies unfold through corporate initiatives, causing impacts to structure, process and people. What is all to often forgotten in all of this is that strategies and plans themselves do not capture value; value is realized only through the sustained, collective actions of the dozens, hundreds, thousands or perhaps the tens of thousands of committed employees who are responsible for designing, executing, and living with the changed environment. This article offers some practical methods for measuring and maintaining employee happiness.

> Read: Business On The Ropes: Instilling a Culture of Consequences When Your Organization Has Lost Its Drive


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Resources for Taking Action

Free Strategic Planning Article Compilations and PDFs:

1        Free access to the Strategic Planning Monthly: Archive

2        Free Online Strategic Planning Articles Library

3        Free Strategic Planning PDF Downloads

4        Information about Strategic Planning Learning and Development Programs

Category: Organizational Culture & Values

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Avatar About the Author: Joe Evans

Since 2006, Joe Evans has been President & CEO of Method Frameworks, one of the world's leading strategy and operational planning management consultancies. The firm provides services for a diverse field of clients, ranging …

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