Extraordinary Team Blog

How to Shape and Sustain a High-performance Workplace Culture

Posted by Joseph Sherren on March 12, 2018

Most employees say it is important to work for a company they believe in, and work in a job where they have a sense of purpose. Unfortunately, up to 75% say that their current workplace does not provide this environment.  They believe their company only cares about short-term profits and its own self-interest.

Going forward, organizations will have to pay much more attention to culture if they want to survive – and thrive. Lou Gerstner, the CEO who turned IBM around in the 1990’s, said:

“Culture isn’t just one aspect of the game – it IS the game.”

However, even today most fail to see this as an important part of their strategy.

My colleague, David Barrett, and his co-author Mona Mitchell, have written a game-changing book for creating a strategy that works – Seven Elements of Strategy Execution.  This book outlines seven critical elements that will significantly help you execute your strategy and inspire your people to achieve the organization’s strategic goals.

Why does this appear to come easy for some companies? They roll out the strategy, communicate it to team members, meet their targets – and everyone’s having fun doing it.  It is all about creating the right culture that will enable this to happen.

When some people hear the term ‘organizational culture’, their eyes glaze over. It’s too abstract and ambiguous. It’s too intangible, they think, so they move on to dealing with easier more practical problems related to organizational process and structure.

Unfortunately, executives often ignore, misunderstand, or are unaware of their culture until there is a problem.

Well, this book explains that organizational culture is not as difficult a problem as you may have thought. There have been many studies, practical research, and years of experience that clearly outlines how to shape and sustain a powerful, high-performance culture.  This book combines all this and provides a concise, prescriptive analysis of the links between strategy execution and organizational culture.

Culture is the often-overlooked foundation of an organization, and like it or not, every organization has a culture. It determines how the group retains talent, how it develops and releases new products and whether it meets targets. It affects how happy and satisfied employees are at work. Your people are the force behind the execution of your strategy, and if they’re not thinking and behaving in ways that advance your goals, you’ve got a culture problem.

Strategy execution is dissected into the following seven essential elements so that you, as a leader, can foster a high-performance culture and kick your strategic plan into action.

  1. Clarity: People must understand the goals, how to get there, and why they’re being asked to do what they need to do.
  2. Commitment: You want team members who are committed to and believe in the strategy.
  3. The Team: Your organization is your people, and it’s your people who execute the strategy.
  4. Accountability: This drives a constructive culture where employees feel free to hold the CEO accountable for what they do or say.
  5. Synergy: Links it all together. It’s ensuring resources, infrastructure, and capacity are in place to empower your people which allows your organization’s constructive culture to flourish.
  6. The Plan: Must include a vision, mission, values, and a set of goals – all aligned with one another.
  7. Leadership: Leaders are vital to strategy execution. A high-performance culture craves outstanding leadership.

My question for all business leaders:

Have you created a culture within your area of responsibility which will empower your staff to execute the plan you have created together?

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