Culture has become a key differentiation between businesses for employees and leaders. With the current pace of change, the hunger for entrepreneurship and independence, and the shift from office based to remote or hybrid working, the need to understand, track and positively develop culture within business is more important than ever. It's not enough to rely on HR or to simply hope, it's important for leaders to be fundamentally part of consciously affecting company culture to support the needs of the business and the employees. Identify ways to develop belonging, value and trust!
To achieve this, leaders need to be aware of what culture is, how they are / can affect it both consciously and unconsciously, how they want the culture to be and how they can engage others in the business and their teams to support the movement towards a culture that supports the needs of the business as well as those working in the business.
Competing needs and values
In the complex world of business and leadership, there are often competing needs and values depending on the situation and context. Your ability as a leader to be comfortable with complexity is one thing, yet being able to make the most effective decisions in a timely way is what will make the difference between success and stagnation or failure. One way to understand these competing values is to consider polarities such as flexible vs focused / stable and internal vs external. Being able to map and assess your options and the impacts in this way can give you clearer insight in demanding and complex situations that allows you to support your organisation to flourish thanks to the complexity you are operating in.
Supporting and developing your employees
One of the most important roles for any leader is to support those they lead. This may be through coaching, goal setting, feedback, listening, inspiring, training etc. How you and your organisation enact support will define the success of your teams, yourself and your organisation. Being clear on the impact of your leadership, and how to support those who follow you can elevate you to being the best leader you can be, and to enable the potential of all those around you towards your common goals. There isn't a one size fits all approach. Finding your way to lead, how you respond to the situations and people you work with and then being skilfully at choice is one of the most important goals of leadership and executive coaching.
An organization's culture can support or undermine its business strategy. The first step can be to assess the alignment of culture and strategy, establish a target culture and evaluate the degree to which executives are likely to fit with, adapt to and shape culture. Second step, identify above the line and below the line behaviours and how to make a positive shift. Third step, understand how to make this a day by day reality. This includes the key elements of culture that have be shown to support success: trust; belonging; a sense of being valued.