Showing posts with label organizational culture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label organizational culture. Show all posts

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Considering Culture in Your Strategic Road Map

A strategy is a roadmap that guides organizations to higher levels of performance that encourages productive growth. Executives can develop excellent business strategies that take into consideration market projection, resource allocation, human capital, and financial streams. To their own detriment, many CEOs do not factor in organizational culture into their strategies and how it impacts organizational goal attainment.

Culture should support business strategy (Eaton & Kilby, 2015). The values and semantics contained within culture should enhance business strategy through proper orientation of people's expectations. If there are contrary elements within a culture, the values should be adjusted to ensure they realign to meet organizational needs.

Consider an example of how culture can support or detract from organizational objectives. Two companies seek to become market leaders, but one company promotes employees based on patronage and the other from performance. These values become embedded into the culture of the organization and create a way of thinking that impacts daily operations.

Over time, poor values will cost the company their productivity and put them into market irrelevance and bankruptcy. Companies thrive off of their intellectual capital and when this is traded for patronage and personal gain the innovative and productive spirit dissipates.

Building a strong culture supports the achievement of organizational objectives by creating a way of thinking. An organization based in service quality should consider a culture that has focused values. Likewise, a company that relies on lean manufacturing promote efficiency.

Culture is a collective pattern of thinking that leads to action. As a whole organization, the actions of individual workers will determine whether or not a company will be successful. Developing the right culture will create social pressure to recruit, promote and perform at certain standards that helps the organization become stronger. A comprehensive strategy must include the soft cultural skills that support goal attainment.

Eaton, D & Kilby G. (2015). Does your organizational culture support your business strategy? Journal of Quality & Participation, 37 (1).

Saturday, December 20, 2014

How Does Jung's Archetype Influence Your Management Style?

Carl Jung’s Archetype is considered an interesting theory about the nature of the human mind and the personality structures contained within it. The creation of self and all of its details has a substantial impact on our personality and how we relate to other people. The very way in which our archetypes create our personality will naturally impact how we deal with problems and events in the workplace. Our management style is based upon how we see ourselves and the archetypal approach we use in life.

According to Jung we have the Self which is the unification of our conscious/unconscious, the shadow which is our hidden instinct driven self, the Anima or Animus that represent the true self, and the persona is the image we share to the world. As a total person the self is the way in which we integrate ourselves while the persona is more focused on what we want to show others.

Some argue that these archetypes are universal and an inherited part of ourselves. Based upon our biological and environmental traits our personalities begin to develop particular characteristics that revolve around running themes in our lives. Some of these personality types could be the father, mother, child, hero, wise old man, maiden or trickster.

The type of persona and personality a person accustoms themselves with will obviously impact their way of thinking and their management style. According to an article in the Journal of International Management Studies a leader’s archetypes and experience combine to create the manager (Oren, 2011). This style will influence how projects are directed and the relationship the manager has with his/her subordinates.

For example, the caregiver is likely to be more humanistic in their approach when compared to the hero who may seek more opportunities to take charge. The way in which people organize their thoughts and understanding of the world around them becomes the leading method for managing other people. The archetype determines in part most, if not all, of the decisions managers make.

Determining your own style will help you be more effective in understanding the situations and work that you flourish in and develop a better plan on managing people. For example, if I take the archetype of the explorer I might become aware that I will be pushing my team to not only solve problems but explore unique ways of getting this completed. I will not be happy with stagnation in growth and production. My management style might include helping people be creative, unique, and focused on the goal to achieve objectives.

Oren, R. (2011). Preliminary findings into project management leadership archetypes. Journal of International Management Studies, 11 (3).

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Are we Syncing Our Non-Verbal Cues in the Workplace?

The workplace is full of communication as people act and interact with each other to get the day’s events accomplished. Beyond what is said and the words we use it is possible that language works in the background as well. Inadvertently, you may be sync yourself with other people in the much the same way as you sync your electronic gadgets to each other.  

A recent study explains how people inadvertently sync to their social networks when communicating (Higo, et. al. 2014). Our non-verbal communication mannerisms start to mimic those within our social networks and create a language of their own. We naturally find a way of showing our engagement in further conversation. 

As we talk to people we engage with on a frequent basis we naturally make personal and emotional connections to those members. This happens because we share information, stories, and memories. Beyond the verbal obvious is the story embedded in our non-verbal communication patterns. 

When two people begin to share non-verbal cues they create a synchronous way of communicating. We can see this when a person is encouraged to keep talking simply by the body movements of the other person that expresses interest and a level of excitement with the information. Failure to sync means failure to connect on a meaningful level.

The power of non-verbal communication has been known for some time. The difference is that viewing non-verbal communication as a sync and not-sync helps explain how groups are formed, cultures are experienced, and the difficulties some people have with connecting to strangers. Over time when groups of people sync together they are “connected” and form a true entity. 

It is possible to think of how organizational cultures are formed through shared values and beliefs. Perhaps such beliefs are also formed from the way in which people act and interact with each other on a non-verbal level. As organizational members sync with each other they encourage and develop greater communication and organizational development. 

Higo, N. et. al. (2014). Interpersonal similarity between body movements in fac-to-face communication in daily life. Plos One, 9 (7).

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Positive and Negative Communication Patterns Impact Workplace Culture

Communication is social by nature, helps others to engage in relationships, and link the micro actions of individuals to the macro actions of the organization. The communication patterns of a workplace determine not only the culture and flavor of the company but also its effectiveness.  The researchers Keyton, et. al. (2013), discuss the nature of communication in the workplace and the patterns formed.

Employees who are effective communicators are likely to succeed in achieving their goals. Individuals are seen as active agents whose behaviors are driven by motivations that are innate (Bandura, 2008). Such individuals express themselves, their personalities, and even their unconscious conflicts through communication.

Let us take two examples of people who have distinct communication patterns within the workplace. Tom wants to be successful and seeks recognition for his work. John feels as though he is more deserving of others and the only way to achieve his goals is to dominate others around him. Both will develop a communication pattern to meet their goals.

Tom talks about the great things he has done and seeks recognition and approval. John is hyper critical and talks poorly of others abilities. Tom likes to talk out differences while John seems to push his agenda on others. Tom learns from others and John negatively compares himself to others. Both have developed a pattern.

Tom and John’s behaviors are both addictive. Communication is social and others gauge their environment by the behaviors around them. If Tom works hard, manages conflict, and seeks recognition and this results in success others will begin to copy Tom. If John’s brashness and negativity is rewarded others will assume that is what makes success. One workplace will become more productive while the other will become more toxic.

Of course, Tom and John are not the only people in the workplace. Therefore, the total communication flow is based upon up the collective pattern of the environment. These patterns are defined as the culture and value systems of a company.  To change culture and patterns can mean to change the conversations, reward systems, and basic economic assumptions of the environment.

The researchers sought to understand what communicative behaviors the workplace has experienced based upon the perception of employees. Within their target they found that the ten most common verbal communication patters were listening, asking questions, discussing, sharing information, agreeing, suggesting, getting feedback, seeking feedback, answering questions and explaining. These observed patterns suggest a workplace that seeks to be efficient and the communicative patterns appear to support that effort.

A second study found some differences. Routinely used verbal communication behaviors exhibited were information sharing, relational maintenance, expressing negative emotion, and organizing. Even though each of these are common it should be understood that relational maintenance should not be excessive and expressing negative emotion should be productive. If they do not add to the success of the organization, it is possible that excessive amounts of time in social structure maintenance and negativity can create a non-mobile and toxic workplace.  

 Understanding what communication patterns employees are using can determine overall cultural values and communicative behaviors within the workplace. Surveying employee’s perceptions of communication patterns within the workplace will help solidify for decision-makers the most common interactions. By understanding these patterns, it is possible to make adjustments that further help the organization develop proper workplace assumptions that lead to productivity.

When conducting similar studies it may be beneficial to break up the surveys into the following:

1.) Executive Communication Patterns: How do executives communicate with each other and employees?

2.) Employee Communication Patterns: How do employees perceive the communication patterns within the workplace?

3.) Employee to Customer Communication Patterns: How do customers perceive the communication patterns coming from employees?

Bandura, A. (2008). Social cognitive theory. In W. Donsbach (Ed.),
The international encyclopedia of communication[electronic version]. London, England: Blackwell. doi:10.1111/ b.9781405131995.2008.

Keyton, J. et. al. (2013). Investigating verbal workplace communication behaviors. Journal of Business Communication, 50 (2).

Other Reading:

Monday, August 19, 2013

Positive Workplace Interactions Foster Transformational Leadership Skills

Developing transformational leadership is beneficial for the creation of higher levels of organizational performance. Such leaders help raise the standards within their workplace and inspire their followers toward a brighter vision.  According to a study by Trepanier, et. al leadership is an exercise of self-perception base in part on the relationships fostered within the workplace (2012). When intrinsic motivation meets a receptive environment a higher level of performance can be achieved.

Transformational leadership is a style that encourages higher levels of organizational development. It is characterized by charisma, motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individual consideration (Bass, 1985).  Such leaders are capable of using intrinsic values to achieve goals and feel as though they can engage socially with others. It is a process of self-realization for the development of higher levels of organizational performance. 

Leadership does not develop in a vacuum and is social rooted by nature. Based deeply on trust, respect, positive relationships, mutual support the leader can flourish in his or her endeavors (Graen & Uhl-Bien, 1995).  They rely on these pro-social behaviors and their perceptions of their environment to flourish in their skills. Such leaders are born from the people who will follow them. 

Like other workers, leadership comes with either internal or external motivation. The essential difference is that those who have internal motivations are more likely to develop a transformational style based in trust, task enjoyment and self-worth (Barbuto, 2005). Externally motivated people may simply not have the ability to follow an internal compass to step outside of the box to change their environment.

The researchers Trepanier, et. al (2012) studied 568 principles to test a model of how perceptions of quality relationships within the workplace predict the perceptions of transformation leadership behavior through the development of intrinsic motivation and self-efficacy. The self-reported surveys highlighted a number of interesting findings. 

The results revealed that managers who believed they participated in meaningful relationships at work viewed themselves as leaders who can inspire and encourage others to have a sense of mission. Likewise, those who felt efficient in their skills also believed that they display actions that promote the best interests of an organization and its members. Finally, their findings also indicate that by fostering positive work relationships between managers and their work units would help foster perceptions of transformational leadership. 

The study helps decision makers understand that leadership is a process of growth in self-perception. When positive and civil relationships are fostered intrinsically, motivated people can rise to a leadership level. Each workplace is a socio-economic entity of bounded rationality and seeks to compete on the marketplace. Encouraging positive interactions, helps foster the development of new skills and higher levels of performance.

Barbuto, J. (2005). Motivation and transactional, charismatic, and trans-formational leadership: A test of antecedents. Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, 11.

Bass, B. (1985). Leadership and performance beyond expectations.New York, NY: Free Press

Graen, G.& Uhl-Bien, M. (1995). Relationship-based approach to leadership: Development of leader-member exchange (LMX) theory of leadership over 25 years: Applying a multi-level multi-domain perspec-
tive. Leadership Quarterly, 6.

Trepanier, et. al (2012). Social and motivational antecedents of perceptions of transformational leadership: a self-determination theory perspective. Canadian Journal of Behavioral Science, 44 (4).