How to create a healthy organisation culture

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How to change an existing unhealthy organisation culture to a healthy organisation culture beneficial to growth of all stakeholders

Organisation culture and leadership:

Effective leadership cannot be achieved without strategic planning. One of the main purposes with effective leadership is to give direction for an organisation and one of the best tools to arrive at direction is strategic planning with the SWOT analysis. An effective performance management system cannot be achieved without strategic objectives. Higher human talent productivity cannot be achieved without an effective performance management system. Higher employee motivation cannot be achieved without effective team leadership.

Attracting the required human capital talent cannot be achieved without an effective recruitment system. An effective recruitment system must be adapted to cater for the strategically required organisation culture and team leadership.

A healthy organisation culture:

Organizations should strive for what is considered a “healthy” organizational culture in order to increase productivity, growth, efficiency and reduce counterproductive behaviour and turnover of employees. A variety of characteristics describe a healthy culture, including:

  • Acceptance and appreciation for diversity
  • Regard for and fair treatment of each employee as well as respect for each employee’s contribution to the company
  • Employee pride and enthusiasm for the organization and the work performed
  • Equal opportunity for each employee to realize their full potential within the company
  • Strong communication with all employees regarding policies and company issues
  • Strong company leaders with a strong sense of direction and purpose
  • Ability to compete in industry innovation and customer service, as well as price
  • Lower than average turnover rates (perpetuated by a healthy culture)
  • Investment in learning, training and employee knowledge
  • Additionally, performance oriented cultures have been shown to possess statistically better financial growth.
  • Such cultures possess high employee involvement, strong internal communications and an acceptance and encouragement of a healthy level of risk-taking in order to achieve innovation.
  • Additionally, organizational cultures that explicitly emphasize factors related to the demands placed on them by industry technology and growth will be better performers in their industries.


How to change to a healthy organisation culture:

According to Kim Cameron, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, organisations wanting to improve culture to a healthy state, must strive to reach the following criteria:

1. Dominant characteristics:

1.1 The organization is a very special place. It is like an extended family. People seem to share a lot of themselves.
1.2 The organization is a very dynamic and entrepreneurial place. People are willing to stick their necks out and take risks.
1.3 The organization is very production oriented. A major concern is with getting the job done. People are very competitive and achievement oriented.
1.4 The organization is a very formalized and structured place. Bureaucratic procedures generally govern what people do.

2. Organizational leaders:

2.1 The leaders of the organization are generally considered to be mentors, facilitators or parent figures.
2.2 The leaders of the organization are generally considered to be entrepreneurs, innovators or risk takers.
2.3 The leaders of the organization are generally considered to be hard-drivers, producers or competitors.
2.4 The leaders of the organization are generally considered to be coordinators, organizers or efficiency experts.

3. Management of employees:

3.1 The management style in the organization is characterized by teamwork, consensus and participation.
3.2 The management style in the organization is characterized by individual risk-taking, innovation, flexibility and uniqueness.
3.3 The management style in the organization is characterized by hard-driving competitiveness, goal directedness and achievement.
3.4 The management style in the organization is characterized by careful monitoring of performance, longevity in position and predictability.

4. Organization glue:

4.1 The glue that holds the organization together is loyalty and mutual trust. Commitment to this organization runs high.
4.2 The glue that holds the organization together is orientation toward innovation and development. There is an emphasis on being on the cutting edge.
4.3 The glue that holds the organization together is the emphasis on production and goal accomplishment. Marketplace aggressiveness is a common theme.
4.4 The glue that holds the organization together is formal rules and policies. Maintaining a smooth running organization is important.

5. Strategic emphasis:

5.1 The organization emphasizes human development. High trust, openness and participation persist.
5.2 The organization emphasizes acquiring new resources and meeting new challenges. Trying new things and prospecting for new opportunities are valued.
5.3 The organization emphasizes competitive actions and achievement. Measurement targets and objectives are dominant.
5.4 The organization emphasizes permanence and stability. Efficient, smooth operations are important.

6. Criteria of success:

6.1 The organization defines success on the basis of development of human resources, teamwork and concern for people.
6.2 The organization defines success on the basis of having the most unique or the newest products. It is a product leader and innovator.
6.3 The organization defines success on the basis of market penetration and market share. Competitive market leadership is key.
6.4 The organization defines success on the basis of efficiency. Dependable delivery, smooth scheduling and low cost production are critical.

Source: In Thomas G. Cummings (Ed.) Handbook of Organizational Development, (pages 429-445) Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publishing

Continuous incremental performance improvement:

Continuous incremental performance improvement of systems, processes, machines, equipment, products and services is achieved through continuous incremental improvement in knowledge, skills, competencies, experience, research, learning and transformation of innovative ideas into reality by human beings with their godly bestowed incredible brains.

The ways and methods we use to challenge, stimulate, motivate, communicate, influence and unlock the brain power of each other to make our surroundings, our organisations and our world a better place, are therefore of paramount importance for improved changes.

We gain continuous incremental improvement in knowledge, skills, competencies and capabilities through study and learning in the following ways:

1. Continuous education
2. Continuous coaching
3. Continuous training
4. Continuous mentoring
5. Continuous development efforts
6. Continuous implementation of new knowledge

The greatest challenge for organisations is to improve and utilize the power of human talent through the best tested research results and practices of team leadership.

Talent development refers to an organization’s ability to align strategic training and career opportunities for employees. Training can sometimes also be referred to as a tool for change management and improved organizational culture.

Teams become effective because they are allowed to and encouraged to become effective by an effective team leader.

Different prominent leaders in business and various industries say the biggest asset in their organisations is human capital.

One can get two different organisations in the same industry, making use of the same technology, machines, equipment and processes, yet the one can outperform another one due to the difference human beings can make to the end results.

At what level are your leadership growth?

My way of thinking:

Do I have a positive productivity?

Is the value that I give back to my organisation equal to or greater than my total cost to the organisation?

If one does not think in this way, one will not have the constant urge to improve oneself and things around oneself.

Let this be a wake-up call to all of us.

Primary and secondary style:

The primary leadership style is the one that shows instinctively, from deep-rooted belief systems about human behaviour. What comes out of your mouth can influence others negatively or positively; restrictively or encouraging; destructively or constructively. “My way or the highway”.
The secondary leadership style is the one where we fall back on, when the primary one fails miserably. It is what we have learned over time that can also sometimes works.

The challenge is to merge the two into one natural style, which can bring forth the best in our subordinates.

How to change:

We were not born with our habits, attitudes and self-images but we gradually developed them.

It is not like a hereditary trait or disease in the genes or cells. We can group habits, attitudes and self-images as psychological beliefs!

That is why it is possible to change them. Because of their psychological basis, we can change them by means of psychological methods such as new development goals, visualisation, imprinting and imagery.

Anyone can become a leader. All the characteristics and traits of leadership can be acquired through learning and practice.

Leadership is not synonymous with assertiveness, despotic behaviour or managerial position. Assertiveness is a good quality only if it can be backed up by respect. Respect stems from various sources as outlined lower down on this page.

Management is about doing things efficiently. Leadership is about doing things differently, in new ways, in better ways. Leadership is about lateral thinking, being innovative and creative.

Leadership is not limited to the top echelon in an organisation. Any person in an organisation, who can differentiate him or herself by being inventive, can be a leader. If you display inventiveness, others will follow your direction naturally out of respect.

Leadership does not follow lines of authority. More often than not, creativity stems from the floor level nearest to the processes and problems. Leadership is therefore by no means limited to the formal structure of supervisory and managerial positions.

The role of leadership can be earned in many ways, small or big. For instance, you can display leadership and earn respect from others in the following ways:

– Expert or superior knowledge about a subject or something
– Excellence in execution of tasks
– Positive attitude, high morale
– High ethical values and codes of conduct
– Good human relations
– Streamlining paper work, production, methods, your use of time
– Being innovative or creative

Innovativeness usually results in bigger leaps with more benefits and profits. It can therefore be most profitable for an employer to cultivate, encourage and support the development of creativity and risk taking in all employees.

Therefore, the most important quality to develop and the fastest way in order to become a leader, is through creativity. To improve leadership further, one must be able to induce innovativeness and creativity in subordinates.

Definition of the core function of a team leader:

A team leader has a twofold responsibility.

The first responsibility is task oriented in the form of providing a proper performance management system, which will give subordinates focus and direction, to encourage them psychologically to excel and be more productive in the tasks they are supposed to perform, in support of the organisation strategic plan.

The second responsibility is people oriented in the form of providing a psychological environment, which can inspire subordinates to higher innovation and creativity with the tasks they are supposed to perform.
In short, there is a twofold responsibility on a team leader to design and provide a psychological infrastructure, conducive for breeding all-round improvements, wherein subordinates can thrive and pleasurably deliver their best efforts.

People in positions of authority have an obligation to provide a psychological platform or framework, which is in favour of the best interest of the organisation.
“Share knowledge with wisdom”.

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Author: indoxploit

Business Consultant