Is it Time for a Culture Check-Up?

A company’s culture is the unique personality behind a business. It’s “the way we do things around here.” A healthy culture provides meaning, direction, purpose, and clarity. These unifying forces stimulate the collective wisdom and energy of everyone in an organization and are the key to building a successful and fulfilling enterprise. Business leaders today know they need to cultivate a company culture of shared values, compelling vision, and common purpose. But that’s much easier said than done. The real challenge lies not simply in articulating values and putting a plaque on the wall, but in making those ideals come alive. Most leaders, after all, strive for the same kinds of “winning” values: integrity, honesty, openness, and trust are near the top of everyone’s list. And most employees want to work for an organization that promotes teamwork and mutual respect while delivering quality, service, and innovation. Working together towards shared goals can foster strong feelings of personal effectiveness and high levels of company loyalty. This isn’t just touchy-feely stuff, though. There are real payoffs for organizations that are able to implement a positive, healthy culture. According to a 2002 study conducted by The Leadership Challenge, firms with a strong corporate culture outperform other firms by huge margins:
  • Their revenue grew more than 4 times faster
  • Their rate of job creation was 7 times higher
  • Their stock price grew 12 times faster
  • Their profit performance was 750 percent higher!
  So how can you be sure you’re providing a healthy environment where your people believe in their leaders and the organization as a whole? That’s simple: get a culture check-up. The Cultural Health Indicator™ (CHI™) is a validated survey that provides a clear understanding of an organization’s culture. By measuring seven key dimensions of culture, this powerful tool can help businesses assess their current culture, identify the kind of culture they’d like to have, and determine solutions to help close the gaps between the two. The CHI™ is a secure, anonymous, user-friendly Internet-based survey that takes only about 20 minutes to complete. Everyone in your organization should participate. Results and recommendations are generated within 30 days after the start of the survey, and focus groups can be conducted to validate the findings. Unlike conventional employee surveys, CHI™ integrates results into an action plan that provides you with specific steps to improve your operations. AL clients who have used the CHI™ report a wide range of benefits, including increased management collaboration and teamwork, improved employee retention and attraction, better customer service, and higher productivity levels. Are you overdue for your checkup? Don’t delay any longer. Taking care of your company’s cultural health really is critical to your long-term success. As Louis V. Gerstner, Jr., former CEO for IBM, once said, “Culture isn’t just one aspect of the game – it is the game. In the end, an organization is nothing more than the collective capacity of its people to create value.”