Why do I ask? Because culture and results become increasingly interdependent as your company grows.
When companies are small, everyone has to work together to prove the feasibility of the products or there is no company… the results are the focus; the culture is done unconsciously through our constant interaction. In this early stage, Results drive Culture.
However as companies become successful, work becomes more complex, systems need to be put in place, and all of the sudden there are lots of new people doing things in many different ways.
How effectively the company does, or does not, determine and manage the way things get done can have an enormous impact on your results – Culture starts significantly driving Results.
Therefore, your Culture and your Results need to be aligned and driving towards the same outcome! If companies don’t make this transition early enough there is a threat that culture may impede results.
So let’s look first at what Culture and Results really mean:
Results = WHAT we plan to accomplish – our company goals, financial targets; tangible outcomes.
Culture = HOW we go about achieving what we accomplish– our habits, values, goals and practices (stated and unstated) that guide our business practices to get things done, and in how we treat our customers and employees.
If you are an innovation company whose results are determined by how quickly you keep pace with cutting edge ideas or technology, your culture probably supports quick, quality decision making; learning environment; future oriented information; and proactive and timely communication systems.
If you are a leader in customer service, your results will best be supported through a strong culture of proactive communication with customers; a strong internal feedback process; authority guidelines for resolving customer issues; and relationship management.
If you are an operational company that makes its name on delivering on-time, quality products and services, results probably depend upon a culture of strong standardized processes; metrics and quality; problem resolution; and honest, direct communication.
It’s those business practices – strategy, decision making, goal setting, communication, accountability, delegation, meeting management, priority setting, teamwork – that become crucial when we hit critical mass (typically round 25-50 employees) because we’ve grown too big to be able to monitor everything that transpires. Spending time determining those practices sooner rather than later can make an enormous difference.
Does your culture drive your results?