When helping businesses develop healthy, fit-for-purpose cultures, I often get asked whether the organisation should develop a “top-down” global culture plan or let local entities develop their own plans. My answer? It depends.
Building a culture plan sits at the core of how you transform organisational cultures. Without a plan, it’s like shooting in the dark: you sort of know where you want to go, but you have no idea how to get there. Most organisations are familiar with building annual plans for infrastructure, IT, people, strategy and operations. However, when it comes to culture, few businesses are used to develop effective plans.
None of us feel we have enough time. It’s a finite resource, and it forces us to make choices. Those choices send signals about what we really value. One of the strongest symbols of a culture is how time is spent. When people see this changing, they start to believe your communication about values.
One of the challenges in interpreting engagement data is that results can be influenced by employee reactions to climate factors such as a poor manager, the office environment, and recent organisational changes. Consequently, it can be hard to determine whether results are truly reflective of the organisation’s engagement or if they have been skewed by a recent organisational event, such as downsizing.
The most effective work on culture begins well before a deal is in full swing.
With thoughtful preparation, a clear strategy and commitment to cultural alignment, organisations can improve their odds of achieving expected merger outcomes.