Re-thinking culture as we re-think business...
Updated: Nov 29, 2021
The key to your recovery and growth
One virus has changed everything. How we live, socialise, exercise, shop and, of course, how we work. For most organisations, the shock has been seismic – from dealing with seriously disrupted cash-flows, to setting up COVID-secure workplaces.
But out of the crisis, there are positives. The ever-changing landscape brings new opportunities. Forward-looking organisations are seizing the moment to take a long, hard look at themselves – and change things for the better.
Many business leaders acknowledge that in a time of such uncertainty, strengthening culture holds the key to long-term success. Wherever you’re heading, you’ll need to take your people and your customers with you. A strong culture will be your compass.
“Wherever you’re heading, a strong culture will be your compass.”
Top 5 reasons to invest in culture...
It’s easy to park investment decisions until the COVID storm blows over. There are plenty of reasons why investing in culture now will help you emerge from the crisis stronger, more innovative and more purposeful.
1. Adapt to survive (and thrive)
Few organisations will be able to return to ‘business as normal’ and as new market trends emerge and consumer demand unravels, businesses must adapt to survive. Redefining culture will play a key role in this - it will underpin strategic decisions, such as how to restructure, how to reshape ways of working and how to reconnect with customers. A strong, positive culture will help you evolve successfully. Disrupt or be disrupted.
2. Turn uncertainty into opportunity
Uncertainty is something we all have to live with - the crisis has made that more evident. Organisations that seize this opportunity to redefine themselves, with a clear vision and purpose for the future, will be the successful ones. Those who revert to old ways of doing things will struggle. Now, more than ever, there’s an expectation of change - doing this with clarity and purpose by transforming your culture will help you get it right.
“Organisations that seize the opportunity to redefine themselves, with a clear vision and purpose for the future, will be the successful ones.”
3. Re-energise your people
The process of culture evolution can re-energise teams and unlock innovation. It will help you re-centre your purpose, while tying your strategy, collective mindset and behaviours together. Managed properly, it will open your people’s eyes to new possibilities and potential, empowering them to make a meaningful impact on your business performance.
4. Supercharge your investments
A strong culture is more than a nice-to-have. It actively supports business performance because it aligns your values and behaviours with wider objectives and investments. So, for example, if your organisation is undergoing digital transformation, you may revisit your culture to reflect this. The ‘digital’ mindset may inform your values, to nurture behaviours that support the transformation. Reshaping culture to align with new strategic goals is key to driving long-term sustainable performance.
“Reshaping culture to align with new strategic goals is key to driving long-term sustainable performance.”
5. Strengthen your competitive position
When you re-shape your culture, it’s an opportunity to redefine a vision, purpose and set of values that are unique to your organisation. That uniqueness shines a light on who you are and what you believe in. This can achieve three things. One, it attracts like-minded talent to work for you. Two, it attracts customers who ‘buy into’ your organisational values. And three, it puts your business on the map, speaking to a wider community about what you stand for.
Therefore, the case has never been stronger…
COVID has made many businesses stop, think, and in some cases, reinvent themselves – innovating and disrupting the status quo. As part of this, redefining culture is key – by aligning your vision, values and behaviours with your new marketplace. Of course, taking your people with you will be crucial. So now we look at how re-shaping culture can achieve just that, empowering your people with a greater sense of ownership.
How culture can guide you through uncertainty
People matter – your customers, your workforce, your partners, your suppliers, and your shareholders. Ultimately, businesses are made up of a collective of people that are aligned and believe in creating value of some sort. An effective cultural refresh will help rebuild your organisation in a way that takes people with you. When your people have ownership of the culture, they feel part of something, sharing your vision and working together to achieve it. Strengthening your culture will enable you to…
Re-think cost reduction
When reducing costs, streamlining roles and processes is the obvious place to start. However, given the current pandemic situation, a focus upon new ways of thinking and working will have a greater impact on business performance. A refreshed culture framework can help you better understand opportunities and unlock genuine behaviour change with your people. Culture change doesn't happen 'at a perfect moment', it's dynamic. Rewiring your organisation now will create greater alignment for future success.
Re-structure with respect
The COVID crisis means jobs may have to go. This can be hard for people to take, and challenging for organisations. Having a clearly defined culture can help you handle this process with respect and sensitivity. This matters, not just to the talent leaving, but to those staying who need a fresh sense of purpose and belief.
Inspire inclusion and innovation (in uncertain times)
Redefining your culture is an opportunity to reach out to your people, to ask, ‘how can we do things differently?’ and ‘how can we be better?’ Culture is after all, defined by everyone in the organisation. It’s a time for openness, honesty and soul searching. It’s a time for collaboration and discovery. It’s an opportunity to shape a vision and a set of values that everyone has a stake in.
Enhance customer experience
Reshaping your culture isn’t just about keeping your talent motivated and happy. When your people genuinely believe in your purpose, motivated by your vision to act in a way that aligns with your values and behaviours, it shines through in enhanced customer experiences. Which in turn, adds value to your brand.
Improve decision making
Steering your organisation through a crisis inevitably means tough decisions – about teams, roles, structures and talent. A defined new culture, with a clear, compelling narrative, can provide a vital reference point to guide those decisions. It breaks down hierarchy and speeds up decisions, providing greater clarity and direction for your people.
“Culture is defined by everyone in the organisation.”
Manage change positively (at the sharp end)
Change can be tough on your workforce and on the managers who have to implement it. But change in the context of a shared purpose, defined culture and a compelling vision for the future, can be easier to manage and execute. A culture narrative can help justify the need for business evolution, validating strategic decisions, while keeping people onside.
As we continue to adapt and learn more about the full impact of the crisis, one thing’s certain, the organisations that will survive and thrive in this ever-changing world are the ones with a strong, agile, people-centric culture.
Now is the time to invest in reshaping and strengthening your culture. Culture has always mattered, but right now, it is more crucial than ever.
To speak to us about strengthening your culture, simply call now on 0300 303 8696 or email firstname.lastname@example.org