I ask board members what they use to manage the organisations performance and to inform their strategic decision making.
They usually tell me they have a good handle on performance through effective measures and a highly tuned reporting structure. They run me through such things as:
· Customer Satisfaction/Service data
· Number of Complaints received over 12 months
· Sickness Absence Totals
· Total appraisals completed
· Number of disciplinary’s
· Total training days delivered to staff
Excellent! When were these things last discussed?
Monthly meetings and a big review every quarter I am told. A quiet confidence normally exists amongst the board at this point.
I then ask the following – “If your workplace culture was the best it could be, how much improvement do you think there would there be?”
The answers range from 5% to 80% improvement from each member of the board.
When did you last measure it? – Blank faces and silence is normally the loud reply.
When did you last discuss it? – “HR did something last year”
So, we agree that culture can improve things by between 5% and 80%, but it is not regularly discussed, it is not measured and more worryingly – the board have left it to somebody else to ‘do something’
The quiet confidence becomes a silence of discomfort.
Are you really confident you are measuring the whole performance environment - especially the most important enabler you have got?
Whilst the word ‘Culture’ is very mainstream nowadays, any pro-active and meaningful action about it is definitely not.
Ask yourself – how much improvement could there be in your business if you managed your culture?
Richie is a founding Director of Lynchpin and Associates Ltd (trading as Lynchpin Solutions), a UK based Transformation and Improvement Consultancy. Following a 22 year career in the British army, and an 11 year spell as Head of OD for a large local authority, Richie now seeks to raise awareness of the fact that the foundation to business success and transformation sustainability is recognising that an organisations culture is key - in particular, identifying and developing the specific cultural characteristics needed for success. Those characteristics must be positively influenced by all leaders, employees, processes and procedures alike. He is now a sought-after presenter on transforming workplace culture and the role of culture in transformation and change.. Richie holds a Masters’ degree and is a contributing author on the bestselling management book 'The Executive Diet' , His company are the only UK/Europe based licensed consultants for the globally acclaimed UGRs® (Unwritten Ground Rules) culture development concept, as he is a partner of the concepts’ creator, Australian Steve Simpson. The concept is globally acclaimed, being used by such companies as Walmart in Australia, Kmart in New Zealand, McLaren and NEXT in the UK and the mining industry in South Africa. Many public sector organisations across the UK have been supported by Lynchpin to develop collaborative workplace cultures. Richie's mantra is “ ensure culture is centre stage - don’t leave it to chance and become a victim of it’”.