[KINGSTON, Jamaica] – “This doesn’t work,” said, an Executive Director as we sat in a meeting discussing a training proposal. “We have spent millions of dollars training our staff and nothing changes or improves.” We have heard this on several occasions. This is because great training with toxic organizational culture improves nothing! Culture not vision or strategy is the most powerful factor in any organization or institution.
As the management guru Peter Drucker said, “Culture eats vision and strategy for lunch.” As a leader you can have the best strategy and vision in place, but if the leader does not correct the culture or have the right enabling systems to facilitate the changes he or she wants. The institution or organization culture will defeat both strategy and vision. Culture is everything, whether a leader believes it to be true or not.
Water at room temperature is just water. Water in the freezer becomes ice and water in a pot on the fire becomes steam. The water didn’t change, the environment did, and it changed the state of the water. What is true of water is also true of people, people do become like their culture, if you take an American and place him or her in a Jamaican culture it won’t be long before this American begins to speak, act, and eat like a Jamaican. Culture shape individuals’ moral, effectiveness, their language and their productivity.
Type of Organizational Culture
An organization that remains the same today as they were yesterday guaranteeing that tomorrow will be no better than today. An organization with a stagnant culture is a breeding ground for mediocrity and low productivity. This type of culture has little to no innovation, there is no moment or vision casting, it is the same year after year. This culture usually has a high turnover as those team members who are highly ambitious and seek challenges are not willing to remain in the environment. If an organization has a stagnant culture and is in an industry that is highly competitive and require innovation to stay on top, with this type of culture the organization will not be in business for long.
In this type of organization culture there are usually instances of office politics, favoritism, and oppression. Those who have a different opinion than that of the leader might face axing. This culture leads to suppression of creativity as team members are not given enough room to express themselves. This culture is usually toxic and have a high level of stress and distrust among team members. This type of culture experience a high turnover because of being fearful and over time the toxic affects staff members’ health.
This is an organization that values innovation and one that is conducive to the development of potential which will produce a growth culture. This focus on improvement and productivity sets the organization apart from its competitors. In a growth environment leaders empower and develop their team members and give them room and flexibility to carry out their jobs.
Growth culture allows team members to take risk. If a team member takes risk and fails, he or she is not axed from the organization, but a review is done on what were the causes of the failure. In other words, failure is viewed as a steeping stone instead of a tomb stone. A culture like this gives team members purpose, they are excited to come to work and this type of culture raises up many leaders from within.
Changing The Culture of A Team
In 2015 the German coach Jurgen Klopp took over coaching duties at Liverpool Football Club. For almost three decades Liverpool did not win the English Premier League, the club desperately wanted to win the league and regain their former glory as kingpin of English football.
Jurgen Klopp went to work, and year by year he took his time and transformed the culture of Liverpool, to that of a winning culture. Liverpool has since broken their 30 years drought by lifting the English Premier League in 2020. They have since won the campion leagues, the super cup and the club world cup.
What did Jurgen Klopp do, he changed the culture of team. If you are leading a large organization please note, it is going to take time to transform such a culture. Its like driving a 18 wheeler truck, you can’t just make a U-turn, you need time to prepare in order to make your turn. However, if it’s a small organization as a leader it will take less time to transform your culture. It is likened to driving a sedan car, you can make a U-turn where possible, but not for a 18 wheeler truck.
What is culture?
It’s the way we do things around here. Anything you put inside of a culture will become exactly like the culture. Whatever transformation you want in your organization ensure that your culture supports it. If not you are in problem. Culture eats strategies and vision for lunch.
For Corporate Trainings, Leadership Events and Engagements, contact Mind Food International. Our goal is to “Develop Leaders to Transform the World Around Them”. Visit us at www.mindfoodinternational.com or email them at email@example.com