Often misattributed to management guru Peter Drucker, I’ve expanded the quote: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast” to go further:
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast, culture eats systems for lunch, culture eats brand for dinner.”
In simple terms, I believe that in the long term, culture is the most important factor in determining business success.
In May 2020, our world class marketing speaker and trusted advisor, Grant Leboff stated: “Covid19 has changed nothing……it’s accelerated everything.”
That includes culture.
Now, whilst many organisations have reorganised their operations, adapted their customer experience and embraced digital solutions like never before, the one aspect many have failed to get to grips with is in fact the most important of all – culture.
As we approach the next normal, culture is likely to be the number one topic on many agendas – or at least it should be – and I’ve a few questions to pose, with the hope they will stir your thoughts and in turn your actions.
What is the purpose of your office/premises?
For many roles, work can be done anywhere. This was the case pre-covid, but working remotely has been accelerated. Why would anyone commute for 1,2,3 hours a day to do work they could manage from home, and therefore could utilise this extra time to either accomplish more or for leisure?
What are the essential roles that can’t be automated?
In order to survive financially, many roles will need to be fulfilled by machines. However, there will still be some aspects of work where human intervention is either essential or adds value in excess of the cost.
What are the people profiles for these essential roles?
If the job role and spec has changed, and for many it has, then so too the personality profile, relevant skills and experience of the people needed.
If people work remotely from each other, i.e. in different locations be it that some are in a central office, others from home or a local shared workspace, then how do you create and nurture a culture?
Let’s be frank, the weekly quizzes and zoom drinks got us through the depths of lockdown, but it’s not something team members are likely to value. “Come and work for us, we have just the best weekly quiz on zoom….” is unlikely to cause a stampede of applicants to work with you.
To what degree is spontaneity a factor in your product/service development and improvement?
A scheduled brainstorm or offsite retreat can be highly effective, but how often does an idea spark whilst just sitting in a meeting discussing an operational issue, or handling a client complaint, or just having a chat over a sandwich with a colleague? Video conference tools are highly effective for many things but I’ve not seen them foster spontaneity and creativity to any great degree.
I don’t have the answers, but I know I need to find them – and suggest you do too.
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