Last week seems to have been a week with lots of discussions around business culture. This is really refreshing for me. When businesses are busy they often just focus on the next priority (or crisis!).
All very valid, but can you really only focus on that without ever considering the ‘softer’ cultural aspect of your business? So it was great to go to a networking event and listen to 2 inspiring presentations around culture and how to drive it deep within an organisation, and then have several other enlightened debates about culture and values during the week.
So what is culture? Well quite simply, it is how we behave every day – both towards our external markets (customers, partners, suppliers etc) and internally, towards each other. The key for a business is to define it’s culture by identifying it’s values and then translating these into everyday behaviours. That way they become much more than just words over the reception desk or a paragraph in a company handbook.
I love to do this work with businesses large and small (and you are never too small to define your culture) – you get to see the ‘light’ go on and see transformational behaviour changes. It affects not only how we perform but also how we communicate, recruit and perhaps most surprisingly, what we expect from our customers, and the type of customer we attract. Consider this – I bet that your best customers are the ones who have a similar set of values to your business.
So how well is your culture and values defined? Could I go and ask any member of your staff what your core values are? Would they know them without thinking? Do they live them everyday? It’s a great piece of work to do, can involve the whole organisation and is incredibly motivating. Get in touch to find out more about the process.