Excellence  – isn’t this just for over optimistic people?  No, not really is the answer! If you want the mindset that enables you to rise above the competition then business excellence is well worth considering, but many fail to start in the right place. It’s well understood that those who strive to improve gain in so many ways by thinking and acting positively. Executive Coaching can develop this beneficial individual mindset, but business excellence in an organisation starts by paying attention to organisational culture, and this is the subject of this blog. Culture is most simply defined as,”The way we do things around here.”

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There are several management systems for creating business excellence.  Often they are extremely complex and burdensome to apply.  Actually, this can end up crushing the spirit of employees. These systems seem to rush past a more fundamental route to excellence. Put quite simply, excellence is achieved by emphasising not just business goals but also by creating the right culture in an organisation, and culture is all about people. The impact of culture in organisations is often overlooked. The right culture creates good employee engagement, retention and a great reputation. It also plays a vital part in successful mergers, reorgaganisations and restructuring in organisational change.

It is people who create culture, and those at the top of the organisation have a huge influence on creating it in their organisation.  This is a vital point – that a culture will be set with or without intervention, like it or not.  I argue that it is therefore far better to set the culture by direct and intentional intent, rather than just passively letting culture happen. Likely as not, if left to a passive approach, culture will be working against the organisation, rather than for it. We know that actions tend to speak far louder than words, and positive action needs to be backed up by the right words so that congruence multiplies the effect.

Goals and culture in organisations are quite different things.  Basically, while ‘Goals’ are all about defining what organisations set out to achieve, ‘Culture’ is the how they go about achieving it. The culture of an organisation affects the way employees and customers feel; it affects the daily working atmosphere; and it affects the ambition and drive to suceed.  Just as tight-rope walkers constantly shift and adjust their balance to move forward, achieving the optimum organisational balance between goals and culture is not a fixed state but requires constant monitoring, adjustment and change.

Organisations may have many cultures and sub-cultures.  These can be assessed through surveys and focus groups before a strategy to improve culture is derived. The benefits can be measured in terms of lower staff turnover and improved reputation, improved stakeholder and client relationships, resulting in better business.

Excellence Psychology specialises in a full range of techniques and methods to improve culture as a way of achieving improvements, based on recent psychological research, which understands the way people think and behave at work.

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Organisational Culture – What does it take to achieve excellence?