There are a multitude of facets that comprise the culture of the corporate arena, and they are far from immutable. Indeed, there is quite often a fluid overlap of directing influences as determined primarily by the social circumstances of those who steer the ship. Every enterprise is a completely unique cluster of business models, ethical directives, guiding principles, and organizational structuring – to name just a very few factors.
Essentially, a proper analysis of your enterprise’s culture can be one of the more impactful tools in your executive arsenal; and make no mistake – the result is in your hands. As the saying goes, a fish will sink or swim from the head.
Questions to Define
Consider a few questions to help assist with your initial assessment:
- Is your current culture well-constructed and well-defined, or merely implied?
- Are you aware of the dynamics by which your managers interact with your employees?
- What would the answers to these questions tell you?
- How would said answers shape your culture and your impressions of it?
The Big Picture
It can be an immense challenge to establish a particular culture. Rather, and far more often, is the case by which an executive inherits an established culture and not only has to decipher its vagaries, but also move forward and work to change it to their own vision. Both of these angles take considerable effort, but as the subject is far more subtle and observational (rather than judgmental), it tends to come down to your own personality type.
All hope is not lost for the brash, type A, “bull-rushing” executive, however; although it takes a degree of reflection to even recognize one’s shortcomings, the solutions can be as simple as the hiring-on of competent lieutenants who complement one another’s (and your) thought process and approach to problems.
The matter of your corporate culture is not a short draft – it’s the long game. There will be many stops and starts, many false trails. The biggest thing to be mindful of, as you map out the dynamics of your enterprise, is your own patience; put in the thought and answers will start to pop up.
The clever executive always reflects to ensure he or she is asking the right questions.
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