How Your Organization Can Get Back on Track & Thrive in Two Hours

Apr 27, 2020

What fascinates me above all else is culture. The cultures of nations, ethnic groups, professions, societies, organizations, teams, and more. So naturally, the diagram in Marc Berman and Tracy Thurkow’s Bain & Company brief “Covid-19 Creates a Moment of Truth for Corporate Culture” caught my eye (see figure below), and luckily so because the entire article was read-worthy.

Culture is at the center of the diagram, with almost-as-fascinating concepts feeding into it: Purpose, Values, Organization, Leadership, Talent Management, and Interaction. Berman and Thurkow express the importance of a strong culture, stating that “Companies that exhibit a winning culture, that have a strong internal compass and inspire their employees, are, we have found, 3.7 times more likely to be business performance leaders.” They go on to offer three specific steps that organizations can take to align with their coronavirus-era actions with their timeless culture. The first two steps are reflecting on and then talking about your purpose and values.

Those readers who were already feeling a bit shaky about their organizational culture (e.g. “Oh, no! My organization doesn’t have a culture!”) are in full-flung panic when they get to the parts about acting on their purpose and values (e.g. “Purpose and values? We’re doomed!”).

Never fear: Your organization does have a culture. Like a fish that doesn’t see the water in which it swims, your organization has a culture. It also has a purpose. And values. They just need to be defined and leveraged for your organization to be able to achieve its potential. 

Here is my challenge for your team: Take two hours to work together to write out what your current purpose and values are, setting aside an hour for each. We are in a forgiving period of history, where having even a roughly-stated purpose and values can provide deep meaning and guidance to the individuals that make up that organization. The verbiage can be finessed later, and your aspirational purpose and values can be shaken out down the road.

I do recognize that this is easier said than done, especially considering everything else that your organization is undergoing in this time of unprecedented change. However, by making the purpose and values explicit, the culture comes into clearer focus, and the success follows. Bringing in a facilitator who can help your team put on paper what it is that drives your organization may be the most efficient way to start maximizing your organization’s output. 

Reach out to me if you would like to help your team get there!


NOTE: This post was originally published on LinkedIn.


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