What is Organizational Culture and is it Important?

As life and business continue to happen, sometimes at breakneck speed, things in the business start to take on identities. It is often said that the identity or tone is set from the top down. Everyone knows that good leadership is required for any organization to prosper. There are many business management books that discuss leadership and the various shapes and forms that it takes within the day to day operation of the company.

In today’s world the word influencer is used quite often. I would be considered an influencer. I write these articles looking for help or potentially inspire you to make positive changes in what you do to promote a better business or personal life. An agent of change is a good way of looking at the consulting profession.

Within our own companies, we have a leadership team that starts with the owner. The primary task of the owner is to get what sounds like a simple task accomplished. That task is to get everyone in the company to pull on the same rope at the same time and in the same direction. Three things that sound pretty simple but when added together are quite complex.

The first thing that needs to be done is to establish the rope itself. We all know that the company is there to make a profit. Does everyone in the company know how the company actually makes money? We laugh at this question but the answer is no most of the time. We need to educate how it is we make money to help everyone see the rope and how we can do it better. Teaching everyone how we do it successfully is a key part of establishing a healthy culture. The culture and the vision go hand in hand so that everyone knows what the goal is why the company prospers when the goals are attained.

While not necessarily considered bosses, we have people that are the influencers in the company. For a variety of reasons, their opinion carries significant weight in the company. Their approval or buy in is a key part of the success of any initiative. Making sure that you know who they are and you incorporate them into making sure that the vision is shared by them and they are influencing in the direction that is positive and not leading into a negative culture.

Knowing who the followers are is important also. You need to make sure that the people who want to be lead are pushed to the correct people to lead and / or influence them to doing the things that promote the positive outcomes and culture. There are key people in both the influencer and follower categories. We need to make sure that they are properly identified and utilized.

As we meet with auto recyclers in our peer groups and manager training, we continually hear about how challenging the hiring market is. The outlook for this remains murky at best. The younger generation is looking for specific things in the workplace. One of those things is a good positive culture. They are quick to identify the influencers and who they are going to follow.

All of these things are key components to if the person will be a long term employee or an unsuccessful hire. Remember that not all hires were the wrong person, sometimes we mismanage them into the wrong hire because of a bad culture or letting the wrong influencer determine their attitude.

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Mike Kunkel, 7757 Lexus Drive, Fort Worth, TX 76137.

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