One of the innovation principles I’ve written about here (as well as in my regular Post-Crescent column this week) is about the idea of corporate culture. It’s not as easy to describe a good (or bad) corporate culture as it is to simply experience it–and let’s face it, we all have.
We’ve all heard bosses say, “That’s just how we do it here,” and we often wonder why. Most likely it is because leaders base their beliefs and corporate philosophies on what has been successful in the past, rather than evaluating policies to determine whether they are helping or hindering your company’s success. If it worked ten years ago but isn’t working now, it’s time to let outdated ideas die and try something different.
One of the biggest components of culture is top-down communication. It’s important for leaders at the top to share goals and vision with employees clearly and consistently. Employees want more than just communications about mundane procedures and financial results; they want to hear why the leader’s vision is important to him or her. And that helps build trust and employee loyalty.
If your company is in the process of trying to change its corporate culture, be patient. If you were hoping for a silver bullet to fix a broken culture, know that real and lasting change may take several years. But if you’re willing to wait and “suffer through” the setbacks that are sure to come, it will be well worth your time.