When you build a culture of innovation, who benefits? From my work with organisations I’d be fairly willing to bet that your top answers would include customers, employees and the organisation itself.
And it’s fairly obvious why. Customers of innovative organisations receive the benefit of agile solutions which are created in answer to real needs and delivered by exceptional levels of service. Employees working within innovative organisations benefit from working in a collaborative environment which praises and nurtures traits such as empowerment initiative and inclusivity. And innovative organisations benefit from offering differentiated market leading solutions; thereby attracting a loyal customer base, a strong reputation, and increased levels of profitability.
Most leaders know that culture matters. But, did you know that the narrower the culture gap (the difference between current and preferred cultures) the more likely it is that high potential employees will stay?
According to recent research by The Catalyst Center for Career Pathways, the narrower the culture gap, the more satisfied high potentials are with their work and advancement, pay, managers, and organizational commitment to work-life quality and diversity. “A narrower culture gap and greater employee satisfaction combine to predict high potentials’ intention to stay,” according to Catalyst. The report continues, “Women and men high potentials agree on workplace culture: Both would prefer to work in cultures that are more constructive and less aggressive. Both agree that the biggest gap in their workplace cultures is that they are not constructive enough.”
We’re going to accelerate your organizational culture change education with this post. Every leader will benefit from understanding the following critical insights about culture and problem solving, change, engagement, strategy, hiring, and consulting shared by Edgar Schein, Professor Emeritus with MIT Sloan School of Management and the most influential authority in the culture field.
I first interviewed Ed when this site was launched in 2014 and we held a very thorough follow-up interview last year. Ed is continuing to make an impact in the culture field and beyond. He recently formed the Schein Organizational Culture and Leadership Institute. The Institute is dedicated to advancing organizational development through a deeper understanding of organizational and occupational cultures—how they arise, develop, and evolve.
We started this interview with a brief review of culture fundamentals and then probed the connection of culture and important culture-related workplace topics like engagement, hiring for cultural fit and strategy. Culture clearly impacts these areas but the connection is not widely understood and it’s often oversimplified.
My consulting journey came from over 20 years of experience working at a fortune 100 company, but not as an executive in a corporate office, not as a business unit manager, not in marketing, and not in human resources. Instead, I was a blue-collar line worker in a food processing plant, doing everything from packing product, stacking skids, driving a forklift and tearing down equipment for sanitation on Friday nights.