Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave: Can you handle the brutal truth?

A recent blog exploring the link between culture and strategy has drawn much interest. 

In that article I pointed out that comprehension of the link between your culture and your strategy would greatly enhance the success of your organisation. This, of course, requires that you have a clear picture of your culture before commencing an strategy review.

In this note I will respond to some correspondence in which I was asked two questions:

Question 1. “How does an organisation obtain a picture of its current culture?” 

The best way to define the culture of organisation is to get that organisation to define it! Experts may provide tools to record your culture, but a top team should not rely on experts to interpret the data. 

Click here to download a  sample Culture R&D™ tool. Test is it with your team. You and your peers can interpret the data in my absence. How empowering is that!

Question 2. “Are there any pre-requisites which should be in place before undertaking such an exercise?”

Yes. You should be prepared to deal with the result and act upon it quickly, hence the title of this post. The core team needs to be free enough to ask the questions, and brave enough to deal with the answers.

Like any patient participating in a check-up, the leadership team has to be braced for the results of the examination.  For some, this thought alone prevents an appointment from being made. But for those who do proceed, the feedback provides a prodigious increase in corporate confidence about future organisational health. The process lifts the fogginess on possible routes to growth.

Naturally, all of us would prefer to avoid receiving bad news about our bodies. But we engage in (or should engage in), regular check-ups because we accept the procedure confirms our good health, or highlights areas that need attention if we are to thrive. 

But participation means exposing ourselves to the brutal truth, and dealing with the consequences of the results. Our corporate bodies are no different.

Undertake the examination with your team: Bring your team together to completed this 30 minute culture assessment. See if your Executive is capable of handling the brutal truth.

To be safe, limit participation to your direct reports. If you’re feeling brave, engage the layer below as well.

Share the feedback within your group and interpret your teams culture—and its consequences for strategic choices, and please feel free to share feedback with me. Larger volumes of information can be captured by an app or on the website.

Click here to request a case study on Culture R&D™ and its impact on strategy generation and implementation.