• dragonfish

Culture goes beyond four walls

Updated: Apr 17, 2019

There has never been a bigger upheaval in business than right now. With emerging technologies making shockwaves through sectors, the need to stay ahead of other organisations has never been greater. For example, one of the world’s largest accommodation providers don’t own their own vacation properties (Airbnb), one of the world’s biggest taxi companies started without owning their own cars (Uber) and one of the world’s largest media providers doesn’t generate their own content (Facebook). Innovative uses of the technology available is meaning that companies can no longer rely on their reputations of being a well-known name. Your customer experience needs to be spot on to stay relevant and loved.

The right culture needs to be in place, as it really does go beyond four walls. If your people aren’t happy, your customers will feel it. And if your people aren’t performing, your customers will tell you about it, publicly. With whole websites and threads dedicated to bad customer experiences, and the viral effect of social media, it’s available for the whole world to see. Some are grumbles that slowly chip away at review ratings, but more and more serious allegations are coming to light, with the biggest recent stories about this being Uber (being described as having an ‘asshole culture’ in 2017*) and the more recent story of Oxfam and the appalling situation of employees in Haiti**, where a severely negative culture had manifested. It is essential that these don’t arise in the first place, and ensuring your company has the right culture will do that.

The structures of successful companies has changed from those of yesteryear. Hierarchies are being replaced by networks, creating flatter structures. The best leaders are empowering and inspiring their teams, not controlling and dictating. Leaner approaches are being undertaken with experimentation being actively encouraged over endless planning that misses trends and misses being at the forefront of innovation. And the four walls are fully down with increased transparency of organisations, particularly with the recent legislation on the Gender Pay Gap***, with companies now having to show their pay discrepancy figures between genders to encourage a much more equal workplace.

It has never been more essential to invest in your people and your culture and lead through your purpose. Defining and embedding vision, purpose and values inspires a positive culture and empowers your frontline employees to provide the customer experience that keeps customers coming back which is a win-win for any organisation.

We've designed our Culture Maturity Assessment based on research**** we carried out in 2017 so that you can measure how your organisation compares to those that are high-performing. Contact us to find out more.


* https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/mar/07/uber-work-culture-travis-kalanick-susan-fowler-controversy

** http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43121833

*** http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-42918951

**** https://www.dragonfishuk.com/thinking/cracking-the-culture-code-the-infographic