National Sales Meeting Survey Best Practices
As sales leaders, we spend months planning our yearly sales kickoff or national sales meeting each year, yet our event surveys tend to be a bit of an...
Culture serves as a differentiator in attracting and retaining talent, providing a stellar customer experience and deriving value from mergers and acquisitions—it cannot be ignored or left to chance. Clients often come to August Jackson asking for our point of view around organizational culture. More specifically, they ask us what they can do to “fix” or change their cultures. With an entire practice area devoted to Employee Engagement within August Jackson, we’re thrilled to help organizations find their silver bullet.
So, what is “organizational culture?” Society has tuckered itself out trying to define the elusive concept, realizing that (just like no two people are the same) no two organizations are the same. Moreover, culture can mean something completely different to two employees at the same company. It’s not “one size fits all,” so we need to find what size fits you, a process that begins with a bit of introspection. If you can understand your culture, you’re better positioned to influence it.
Ed Schein, one of the most prolific and well-known theorists of organizational culture, defines culture as an abstraction that can be seen through an organization’s behaviors, rituals and cultural norms. At AJ, we believe purpose is the foundation for any culture, which is why we begin any project with the exercise of defining your purpose. When rooted in purpose, culture gains structural stability, meaning it’s hard to change. It survives when individuals depart, and isn’t something that’s formed or changed overnight, mandated, or “fixed.”
When we advise our clients around influencing culture, we suggest three primary mechanisms for doing so: stories, symbols and rituals that are rooted in your organizational purpose.
A strong example of an organization rooting their culture in purpose is our search engine of choice—Google. Google’s manifesto of Ten Things We Know To Be True is a set of shared beliefs and behaviors that have guided their people practices since the beginning, resulting in their much-lauded culture.
Will duplicating Google’s Ten Things work for your organization? Probably not. What you define as your purpose and how you activate through stories, symbols and rituals needs to be tailored and authentic to who you are. Defining your purpose could seem daunting, but we help our clients navigate these conversations with tools like our Purpose Platform and Employee Engagement Framework.
By defining your unique purpose, aligning your people practices to it, honing your narratives and creating distinguishing visual artifacts, you have the opportunity to influence your organizational culture in a way that’s just right for you. And that’s the silver bullet.
Also, be sure to check out our video on Building Purpose-Driven Culture.