Organisational Culture Debate

How do our organisational values, or brand promises, come alive in our daily experience at work? Are they as alive to our employees as they are to our customers? What happens when culture is tested? How can organisations respond to this and not just limit the damage, but emerge with a more resilient culture?

Cathy Brown, Executive Director of Engage for Success, and Tim Pointer, ex-Global HRD of Pentland Brands and Founder of Starboard – debate these points in a short audio interview. Listen here

Some Out-takes from the Interview

“We are in a time where everything is replicable; our products, our services and our strategy. The one piece that cannot be copied is our organisational culture.”

“We are talking days after the referendum where we have been through an immense shift.  Organisationally, this has made a massive difference to our employees, partner organisations, to our consumers and to our investors.  This is when we test organisational culture, when we go through change.”

“So many times we talk about employee engagement, when of course, employees have many hats.  Employees are often investors where they have shares and ownership in the business, they are also consumers of the products and/or services and part of the community in which the business operates.  So there is a multiplicity in that relationship and that all comes to play within the organisational culture.”

“There is an understood way to measure engagement to some degree; however, culture is far harder to do that with.  Can you measure culture?  Should you measure culture? How do you start to get an idea of what your culture really is so that you can change it?”

“Most people feel culture when they step into an organisation: from the moment they start meeting the people in the business; from they way they are welcomed; how they are made to feel at home at the business; the way they are able to see the messaging that goes through the business; the energy you can feel through the business and the priorities that are pointed out to you.”

“We have all worked with people who have been beacons of everything that is great about their organisation and we should be offering the opportunity to recognise some of these role models.”

“Measuring culture may not be easy to do, but we can recognise excellence in organisational culture.”

Tim and Cathy explain that we need to celebrate and recognise proud stories of Organisational Culture even more so during this time of uncertainty and challenge. In order to motivate and re-energise our internal and external stakeholders, we can take a small but important step to shine the spotlight on great work across our organisation. Tim says, “Organisational culture is unique and deserves to be shared and learnt from, whilst recognising that no culture is perfect, or a finished article. We should recognise steps taken to advance any aspect of evolving culture work.”

To access exceptional Organisational Culture case studies click here