Motivational Keynote Speaker

Leadership & Team Building Expert

Author of It Takes 4 To Tango


A Question to Ponder…What is the Strength of YOUR Organizational Culture?

By Candy Whirley on August 25, 2014

As I was receiving my Masters in Management degree from the University of Phoenix I was asked my opinion on the following question…
Some people suggest that the most effective organizations have the strongest cultures. What is meant by the strength of organizational culture, and what possible problems are there with a strong organizational culture? 

Candy’s editorial reply:
The strength of an organizational culture lies in the beliefs, values and assumptions of an organization. When an organization has a strong culture the company is defined as one that believes, across the board, the values and beliefs of the company. Many organizations have sub-cultures that will ‘buck’ the system, but when the company is defined as having a strong culture, even the sub-cultures are in line with the company values and beliefs.
Where the problems may arise is organizations that are so embedded in their belief and value systems that they may not be open to changing times in the market, organizational changes, or human resource changes. The organizations may be missing out on new ideas from new employees because they are too busy trying to conform employees into their total way of thinking. I believe there is room for learning the corporate culture, especially if that culture is working but I also believe there is always room for change and improvement in the organizations culture too. “Strong cultures lock decision makers into mental models that blind them to new opportunities and unique problems” (McShane et al, 2004).
I thought the article about the German advertising company that has changed their culture called, “Back to Work” was interesting. Their new policies include: no family pictures, no socializing, no smiling, if possible, no speaking about nonworking issues unless it is on the employees’ five minute break. So, what is the down fall? This strong culture, in my opinion, is the wrong culture. Even though this company may be seeing results now, there is no way the company can succeed with this kind of culture. They just cannot treat people like androids for long periods of time and be successful.
In my speaking and consulting business most of my clients are looking for me to come into their organizations and teach them how to have more fun, how to be more energized, and how to communicate and work together better as an organization. I have yet to receive the call to teach people how not to smile and not to be social and just work!
Just a question to ponder.

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