Culture Never Takes a Holiday
By Marcus Nicolls Senior Vice President and Business Unit President, Partners in Leadership (PIL) | January 25, 2015
Co-authored by Mattson Newell, Area VP & Leadership Consultant, Partners In Leadership
Any discussion of culture and strategy begins with a healthy understanding of what they are. Metaphorically, strategy is the orchestra—a collection of instruments and the music that will be played. It follows that culture then, is how that music is performed—from the way the maestro brandishes the baton and how the violins harmonize, to when and how the music ebbs and flows—louder-softer, faster or slower. Alone, each might be just noise or even silence. Together, they create beautiful music. More specifically,
- Strategy involves assembling the right instruments and the best musicians, and focusing them on playing a single, perfectly composed piece of music.
- Culture is the way the musicians think and act as they perform the music. That thinking and acting obviously affects the overall performance. And more than just a collection of “skills,” the right culture provides an environment that encourages inspired performance. With good strategic alignment and great culture leadership, musicians begin to play as one to produce music that connects with the audience and conveys the intended message—the desired result.
Roger Connors and Tom Smith, experts on organizational culture and co-authors of Change the Culture, Change the Game: The Breakthrough Strategy for Energizing Your Organization and Creating Accountability for Results, have said, “The results you currently get as an organization are produced by your current culture.”
Culture Produces Results
What results is your culture producing? Is your workplace a group of expert musicians with quality instruments playing a symphony, or some syncopated cacophony? Is yours a results machine or a mess like the following example?
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