A business exists primarily to create tomorrow's customer. Profit is obviously important but it's ultimately the outcome of doing the former well. The organisation's culture delivers both the outward-looking (why buy from us?) and the inward-facing value propositions (why work for us?). Of the two, the latter is the more important.
If the brand promise doesn't live inside the organisation it can't live in the marketplace. If employees don't support the organisation's promise within the customer space, it doesn't matter how strong the product or service offering is. A disappointed employee is a disappointed customer. And based on the business sector, the multiplier effect (number of customers a market facing employee can influence) may well be 50, 100 or even 1,000 to one.
Culture isn't an adjunct, a sideshow, or a sandbox for those with a love for all things abstract. Culture is real, practical and central to what makes a business endure. For the business to sustain, the culture has to attract top talent, retain outstanding leaders, provide the agility needed for different strategic scenarios to be realised, create the space for innovation, move best practice across the organisation, accelerate learning, nurture risk, empower those closest to the customer to make key decisions, ensure that the environment is a priority and align the organisation's resources with why the customer buys - today and tomorrow.
Results will follow.
Insights from "The 7 Questions Every CEO Should Ask About Culture".