You probably have a strategic plan and a business plan. Perhaps you also have a marketing plan and a social media plan. You may not be short of plans. Except one. A culture plan. We are not talking about an HR plan or a Talent Management or a Succession plan. You see? You have even more plans. It is about your whole house, not just the bricks, the wooden floors, the garden, the plumbing system or the heating but the house itself, your home and what life looks like inside. Organizations are the same, they are ‘homes’ for all of the above, from strategy to operations to human resources. Do you have your ‘home plan’?
You may be one of many who become very restless with the word ‘culture’, one of the most confusing and contaminated words in management. Don’t worry, we can help you to have a state of the art culture without even mentioning the word, if that makes you feel better. We are talking about rules of the game, non negotiable behaviours, ways of doing things and working styles. We are talking about the psychological space of your organization. In the absence of these ‘soft elements’, plans are often built without a defined context. For example, your Marketing plan is brilliant but will only work if ‘A people’ and ‘B people’ collaborate and share information (marketing and sales, and account management for example). But there is nothing in the Marketing Plan about how to ensure that collaboration. It just takes for granted that it will happen.
Also, your culture (organizational home) plan has two faces. One is the formal one with all the typical structures that the organization chart usually describes: teams, divisions, reporting lines, hierarchy and structures. The other is the informal organization, which the organization chart does not represent and where most of the innovation and free flow of ideas live. This is the territory of the unwritten rules and the environment as a whole. The late Sumantra Ghoshal used to say that some companies’ atmospheres ‘resemble downtown Calcutta in summer’. That will give you an idea of what you need to avoid in your culture plan and why you need one.
We will work with you to create your organizational and culture strategy plan which sits above all the other plans and provides a reference for them. We will help you to visualize the journey that you need to embark upon and will draw with you the pathways to arrive to several different destinations. You will find this overall culture map vital to provide sense to everything else. And we can use the word culture or avoid it altogether. Maybe we could call it your Glue Plan.