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Behavior and Culture

A high-performance culture is critical to an organization's success.

Culture defines how people behave both around others and when they are alone. Organizational culture is represented by a characteristic set of behaviors, revealed in what people do and say. Developing the right culture for a company's individual strategy is crucial to achieving sustainable competitive advantage.

People & Organization

Jim Hemerling on Corporate Culture

Jim Hemerling explains four steps to achieve organizational culture change and break down the myths.

Three things define a high-performing culture:

The Culture Is Aligned with Strategy

This is vital to building capabilities and attaining goals. An aligned culture will support and facilitate the capabilities needed to achieve strategic goals, whereas a divergent culture will undermine them.

Employees Engage in Their Work to Get Results

Employees with a high level of engagement will “go the extra mile” to reach goals. Employee engagement is measured in terms of ambition, accountability, inspiration, pride, and support.

The Organizational Context Supports and Reinforces the Culture

The context, or environment, of an organization is the main driver of employee behavior. Therefore all leadership behaviors, policies, organization design, and hiring practices should be aligned to achieve the desired culture.

Most leaders recognize how critical a high-performance culture is to their organization’s success. But many are discouraged by the gap between their current and target culture. Others are frustrated because they don’t know why their culture is broken—or what steps they might take to get and keep a high-performance culture.

To Change Behavior, Change the Context

To change behaviors, employers have to change the context that drives behaviors—the goals, resources, and constraints that shape how employees work.

By addressing these elements, companies can reshape behaviors, and in turn create a stronger culture that supports their unique business objectives and strategy. Coupled with a systematic approach for evaluating employee engagement—and knowing how to intervene when morale is low or underperformance appears endemic—organizations can tap the full potential of their workforce.

People & Organization
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