Press Release: December 1, 2018
CLAREMONT, CA—Culture plays a pivotal role in the growth of successful businesses, according to The Society for the Advancement of Consulting® (SAC). Those organizations that focus on building a strong culture based on core values and beliefs are likely to have better business results.
Culture is Directly Tied to Profitable Growth
“Our most successful clients definitely think profitable growth stems directly from culture,” points out Lisa Anderson, president of Claremont, CA-based LMA Consulting Group, Inc. and a manufacturing expert known for creating supply chain resiliency. “No matter whether they focus on strategy or organizational change, or require help with a technical topic, their success will tie back to how we incorporate the change with their culture.
“These clients realize that although it is important to cover the appropriate technical aspects of the change, the 80/20 of success comes down to how the change is implemented. Therefore, it is the unique combination of people, processes, systems, and tie-in to strategy that brings it all together.”
Successful High-Growth Businesses Have Common Cultural Traits
According to Praveen Puri, the Strategic Simplicity® expert who helps build innovative organizations, there are three important cultural traits of successful, high-growth businesses.
“First, they welcome input and suggestions from employees, but then make decisive decisions. Second, they concentrate on hiring the right people, and then let them work independently in a low-bureaucratic environment, “ he said. “And lastly, they constantly work on improving their business by iterating small improvements and upgrading technology.”
Harness the Collective Genius of the Organization
Dr. Maynard Brusman, a consulting psychologist, executive coach and emotional intelligence/mindful leadership consultant notes, “The mindful leader who harnesses the collective genius of their organization is going to blow away the competition. Culture refers to how people think, act and get things done in your company. If your people continue to think and act as they do now, can you expect to achieve the results you need? If your answer is no, then changing your organizational culture is an imperative.”
According to Dr. Brusman, “Ineffective leaders show little curiosity about the ways in which cultural beliefs and attitudes affect performance and profitability. Employee accountability and engagement are the driving forces behind achieving great results. Employees become engaged when they can describe their role in outcomes and desired results.”
Dr. Brusman advises his clients, “By harnessing the power of culture, you can grow faster than your competitors, improving your value proposition and outperforming all previous metrics.”
Values are at the Root of Corporate Culture
“Every week there is another major news controversy where corporations have violated their corporate values and crossed the passions of their employees,” notes Jeff Skipper, CEO of Jeff Skipper Consulting and author of the 4C-S Strategy Accelerator. “For example, Google employees recently walked out to protest the handling of harassment incidents. Microsoft, Amazon, and Salesforce.com staffs have all petitioned to oppose the use of their technologies as instruments of controversial government policies.
“Values are the root of corporate culture. Even though they may appear dormant, values ignite strong emotional reactions when triggered by inconsistent actions. Wise organizations like The Salvation Army regularly revisit their value statements, asking tough questions about how well these statements match the changing make-up of their workforce. They use a deep understanding of values to drive decision-making and connect action with purpose and community,” according to Skipper.
“Getting values alignment right makes the difference between encountering resistance and developing an engaged crowd of fans,” he added.
Culture and Brand are Closely Intertwined
Organizations must ensure their culture and brand values are congruent to be able to sustain long-term growth, according to Linda Popky, president of Redwood Shores, CA-based strategic marketing firm Leverage2Market Associates, and author of the book Marketing Above the Noise: Achieve Strategic Advantage with Marketing That Matters.
“Creating aspirational brand values is important, but if a company’s culture does not reinforce those values, the incongruency will be visible to both customers and employees,” she said. “For example, companies may tout being close to the customer in their marketing and branding, but if the culture reinforces cutting corners vs. solving customer problems, that will become apparent to everyone very quickly.”
“Brands don’t create cultures—they reflect the culture that already exists. If the existing culture isn’t working, all the marketing in the world won’t fix that,” she added.
Focus on Beliefs to Develop Culture
“Contrary to what many people would like to think, culture is merely that set of beliefs which governs behavior”, said SAC Founder Alan Weiss, PhD. “Thus, if you want to stand out from the crowd, make sure your beliefs include excellence, autonomy, innovation, and service, and walk your talk.”
The Society for the Advancement of Consulting (SAC) is the premier association for independent consulting professionals who subscribe to an industry code of ethics and provide significant consulting results among their clients. Founded by Million Dollar Consulting guru Alan Weiss in 2003, SAC offers a series of in-person and online programs to help consultants share best practices and learn from industry experts and thought leaders in the business world. SAC today has members in 10 countries around the world.