Extract from “Culture Inc: Create a business that delivers results and people love.”

In the Introduction, I defined culture as the form, flow and feel of a business. Let me briefly introduce you to the model.

FORM

When you set up, or FORM, a new business you consider the vision, the mission, the strategy, the product, the service delivery model, the sales model and the people who will manage these things. If you have the luxury to form your brand and culture from scratch then you are in a fortunate position, and well done for grabbing this book early in your journey, if you implement the principles from this book you will have a greater chance of long term sustainable, and satisfying success.

Most businesses I work with are well established and have often become overwhelmed by the outcomes of their culture. That is the FEEL part of the model. This is the wrong focus when it comes to culture. When you only focus on the FEEL you won’t change your culture.

We’ll examine this further in Chapter 7, but essentially the FORM aspects of the business that need to be addressed first are:

  • The vision
  • The mission
  • The values
  • The strategy
  • The structures*
  • The customer expectation
  • The leadership expectation

*Structures consist of things like workforce/team structures, and management decision making structures, financial structures, governance, and infrastructure.

FLOW

Understanding how expectations and work flows through the business is important to understanding how people in the business come to ‘understand’ how they must work and behave in order for them to fit into the current culture.

FLOW will be examined in detail in Chapter 8, but simply it is:

  • The processes, policies, and practices
  • The management systems*
  • The reward systems
  • The leadership capability and actions
  • The communication
  • The behavior, technical capabilities and actions

*Management systems includes how decisions are made, how people are selected, how work is planned, and how performance is measured and rewarded.

When we focus on FLOW we are speaking of the formal systems of work that provide a framework for the work of the business.

Later in the book we’ll talk practically about creating a plan for transformation, this will give you an organized method to create change in your business. However, if you know that your business would respond better to a strict system then have a look at the Australian Business Excellence Framework, or Six Sigma, or Lean. When implemented properly they are excellent. When implemented poorly they cause more problems to the culture than they are worth. Choose carefully, and implement even more carefully.

FEEL

A result of the culture and the reinforcing systems determines how we feelabout the business. This is the part of the culture that gets the most airtime in business. The reason being that we are very emotional creatures and therefore if something doesn’t feel good we talk about it.

FEEL in this model falls in the following general categories:

  • Relationships
  • Motivation
  • Enjoyment/satisfaction
  • Customer loyalty
  • Results
  • Agility

Each of these areas are influenced by the culture and are also influenced by other things outside of the business. For example, a relationship can dissolve due to personal reasons or conflict even if the culture is strong, engagement can be high because the person loves their profession at the same time as hating their business, satisfaction can change with the introduction of a new manager or team mate, and of course a self-actualised person will be motivated despite the culture.

Find out how to use the 3F model to analyse and transform your business. Buy “Culture Inc” now.

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