Leadership redefines organizational culture – Telegraph India
A successful organization must have a culture based on a deeply held and widely shared set of ideas, underpinned by strategy and structure. Three things happen when an organization’s culture is strong: Employees are aware of how senior management expects them to react in each situation, they feel the expected response is the right one, and they are aware that the embodiment of the values of the organization will be rewarded.
Employers play a critical role in maintaining a strong culture, starting with recruiting and selecting candidates who match the organization’s beliefs and thrive in that culture. Companies should develop orientation, training and performance management programs that describe and reinforce the core values of the organization, ensuring that employees who truly embody the culture receive appropriate rewards and recognition.
Role of leaders in building an organizational culture
Business leaders play a vital role in establishing and communicating the culture of their business. In contrast, the relationship between leadership and culture is not one-sided. While leaders are the main architects of culture, the type of leadership that can be envisaged is influenced by the existing culture.
Leaders need to recognize their role in preserving or evolving a company’s culture. A deeply rooted and well-established culture shows how individuals should act, which can help employees achieve their goals. When an employee believes that a leader is helping him achieve a goal, this behavioral framework increases his job satisfaction. The modern performance management system enables leaders to create a structured framework which, in turn, helps employees to track their performance, thus promoting self-responsibility. Organizational culture, leadership and job satisfaction are all intertwined from this perspective. Many diverse workplace cultures can be developed by leaders, and they can also be influenced by them. These distinctions can appear in various ways, including:
- Adaptive and adhocratic culture
Adaptive and adhocratic cultures are defined by the degree to which individuals are free to make decisions, generate new ideas and express themselves. Adaptive cultures respect change and are action-oriented, which increases the chances of long-term survival. Adhocratic cultures are dynamic and entrepreneurial, focused on risk taking, innovation and experimentation.
Both task cultures and clan cultures play a role in how dedicated employees are to company goals. In a culture of work, teams of experts are formed to meet specific challenges. Due to the importance of the tasks and the large number of small teams involved, a matrix structure is popular in this type of culture. Clan cultures are similar to family cultures, with an emphasis on mentoring, caring, and group activities.
- Culture of power, culture of roles and culture of hierarchy
Power cultures, role cultures, and hierarchical cultures are all hallmarks of how power and information flow through the structure and system of an organization. A leader controls strategy and makes quick choices in a culture of power. This type of culture requires a high level of reverence for the leader. Role cultures are places where functional structures are established, where people know their work, report to their superiors, and place particular emphasis on productivity and accuracy. In that they are very structured, hierarchical cultures are comparable to role cultures. They prioritize efficiency, consistency and doing things right.
- Culture of the person and the market
Some important aspects of personal culture and market culture are the way members of an organization conduct business, treat employees, customers and the community at large. Personal culture is where horizontal structures are most beneficial. Each individual is valued more than society as a whole. This can be difficult to maintain, as the business can suffer from conflicts of people and priorities. Market cultures focus more on competition, performance and ‘getting the job done’.
Culture is constantly changing!
The culture of an organization never remains static. As members of an organization interact over time and learn what works and what does not, they form a common understanding of “what law looks like”. When certain ideas and assumptions lead to less than satisfactory results, the culture of the organization must develop in order to remain relevant in a changing environment.
Changing the culture of an organization is a whole different ball game. Employees are sometimes resistant to change and can form a united front against a new culture. Accordingly, it is the responsibility of leaders to persuade their staff of the benefits of change and to demonstrate that the new culture is the best way to operate in order to be successful through collective experience with behavior changes.