Organizational culture can be determined with simple assessment
By Leanne Hoagland-Smith December 15, 2012 9:22PM
Leanne Hoagland-Smith. | Provided photo~Sun-Times Media
Organizational culture is just as important for the solo-entrepreneur as it is with the small business owner with employees. The culture is a composite of the behavioral demonstrations by the all internal customers (employees) specific to the core values as well as alignment to the vision and mission statements.
To achieve a high performance culture is not easy. There are no sure proof recipes or formulas for success because human beings are just that, human beings. They are subject to pushes and pulls from other human beings and events.
When two of these individuals interact in an organization, as much as one would like to believe the interaction to be positive, this doesn’t always happen. Negative interactions slow down the gears of the business and may eventually force those wheels to a dead stop.
In the marketplace small business owners and those in executive leaders roles have access to many assessments from which to determine the organizational culture. Having such an assessment constructed from the ground up may become a barrier to organizational success. That is why formal and proven tools such as D.I.AL.O.G. are far more affordable solutions.
Regardless of the tool, the purpose of any of these assessments is to answer this one, basic question:
• Is your organizational culture working or not working?
Yes there will be degrees of functionality. However the bottom line is finding if the cultural gears are at least working.
For those small businesses who may desire a quicker solution or who may not have the financial resources to invest in an affordable proven organizational assessment, this one question may help the executive leadership team. The yes or no answer to the question can be determined in approximately 15 to 30 minutes depending upon the size of the executive team.
• Would you please list on the piece of paper in front of you the top three goals of this organization as you perceive them to be?
Those present would write their perceptions anonymously. All responses would be listed on a flip chart or white board. If there are more than three goals and those goals are not in exactly the same order, there culture of the organization is not working.
Just imagine in less than 30 minutes without draining your limited resources, you as the small business owner or C suite executive can determine if your organizational culture is working or not working. Now you may need some outside assistance in changing that culture and that is a discussion for a different day.
Employees cannot hit an unknown target or a target clouded in confusion. Just imagine a support employee being told multiple goals all with the same “Do it now” priority from two or more managers. How can that employee function less alone at a sustainable high rate of performance?
Even for small business owners who are solo entrepreneurs, the inability to answer this question within 5-10 seconds suggests organizational wheels are not functioning at full performance efficiency and effectiveness. For those who are the one man or one woman small business, any misalignment with the wheels has even more far reaching and potentially detrimental consequences.
Next week my gift to you will be an assessment that you can quickly integrate into your small business to determine if you have a leadership problem.
P.S. Shout Out: The Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce continues to support small businesses in Lake County. Over in Porter County, ValpoLife.com shares positive news happening within Valparaiso and surrounding areas.