Culture & Performance

A recent article in Fortune by Jack and Suzy Welch in which they say:

“Soft culture matters as much as hard numbers. And if your company’s culture is to mean anything, you have to hang — publicly — those in your midst who would destroy it. It’s a grim image, we know. But the fact is, creating a healthy, high-integrity organizational culture is not puppies and rainbows. And yet, for some reason, too many leaders think a company’s values can be relegated to a five-minute conversation between HR and a new employee. Or they think culture is about picking which words — do we “honor” our customers or “respect” them? — to engrave on a plaque in the lobby. What nonsense.

“An organization’s culture is not about words at all. It’s about behavior — and consequences. It’s about every single individual who manages people knowing that his or her key role is that of chief values officer, with Sarbanes-Oxley-like enforcement powers to match. It’s about knowing that at every performance review, employees are evaluated for both their numbers and their values.”

After yesterday’s post I got a couple of questions regarding office politics playing out when you get people competing against each other. I think that could definitely become a possibility. Just look at the latest news from Oracle “Cut-Throat Sales Culture Is Hurting Its Hardware Business“.

However what differentiates companies who do not fall into this trap is those who have a well defined culture and set of core values. Making sure you have the right people on the bus is just as important as optimizing your workforce’s performance. Failure to attend to either one of these two will have consequences.

When people on your workforce go against the culture you are putting into place and do not share core values, it is important to let them go as soon as possible. This is to ensure and protect the long term sustainability of your organization.