A business exists primarily to create tomorrow's customer. Profit is obviously important but it's ultimately an outcome of delivering a winning value proposition. Culture is real, practical and central to what makes a business endure. The organisation's culture delivers both the outward-looking (why buy from us?) and the inward-facing (why work for us?) value propositions. For the business to sustain, today and tomorrow, 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.
- Align the organisation's resources with why the customer buys.
If you don't know what makes the business successful – assuming it's central to future success - you can't protect it. Why do people buy what we deliver? Why do our best people stay? What is our core competency? What has made us successful to this point? What is our distinct point of differentiation? What do we do that the competition doesn't? What is sacrosanct? How do we make money?
As you move forward on your culture journey ask yourself:
- What attributes of past success are we working to retain?
- How have we identified what those key attributes are?
- What are we doing to nurture/protect/evolve what it is that makes us special?
Insights from "Leadership: Moving Beyond The Crisis".