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What Is Organizational Culture and Behavior?

What Does Organizational Culture and Behavior Have to do With Performance?

Organizational culture can be observed in what people and organizations produce and how they produce it. Organizational culture and behavior is the integration and intersection of the practiced core values, mission, business strategy, hiring, development, performance, compensation and promotion models. Ideally these various components work in concert to support and add leverage to one another.

Working together they are the whole, not just separate necessary functions. Unfortunately, too many business leaders don’t systemically see the importance or value of intentionally creating a culture to drive business performance. Typically they don’t see the interdependent relational dimensions and the effects of organizational culture and behavior. For many leaders the topic of culture is often seen as being too “warm and fuzzy” or “touchy feely” to deal with and in some cases they just don’t see value in pursuing it.

In most cases, if culture is recognized at all within an organization, it is usually not well thought out, poorly aligned, inconsistently applied and lacking discipline.

Why is this the case? It’s much easier to focus on sales, revenue, margins, expenses, signed contracts, and ratios. While these metrics are a critical dimension to managing a business, they are at best rear view indicators that provide little or no insight as to what is really going on inside the organization. These metrics say nothing about how the various functions and/or individuals within the organization operate to produce those results, and furthermore how to more effectively operate in the future to improve results.

Some people will argue that strategy, brand and/or some other variable is the most important factor in determining business performance. Without an organizational culture that is properly engineered and operating, the best strategy will not be fully optimized or consistently executed and the best brand will be diminished or ruined by poor quality, delivery or customer service issues. In short, the effects of organizational culture and behavior affect every part of your organization’s operations and performance.

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