Organizational culture: The tone is set at the top
Every organization is a product of its leadership. The tone is set at the top. Countless characteristics of a company are determined by the top decision-maker. Among the many factors are:
- Strategic objectives
- Receptivity to change
- Tolerance for risk
- Employee relations and employee involvement
- Knowledge development and dispersion
In our work with hundreds of manufacturing firms, we've seen a myriad of organizational cultures, and the CEO always determines them. Many companies have strictly an internal focus, believing that all the knowledge they need to run their business resides within their four walls. However, a growing number of companies understand that, to be successful in the global marketplace, there must be continual learning. None of us can ever hope to know all that needs to be known in in our dynamic world; therefore, we depend on others to fill in the gaps.
Just as important as the acquisition of knowledge is the dissemination of information. Somewhat surprisingly, the most prevalent means of sharing information is still the traditional method of "management by walking around." This informal tactic is supported by more structured approaches such as scheduled meetings, reports, newsletters, training programs and bulletin boards, both traditional and electronic.
Leaders come from a multitude of backgrounds, and the path to the top varies greatly. Each of us is a product of our life-long experiences. We carry and apply these experiences to every situation we face — every interaction, every meeting and every decision. These experiences are ongoing, and the reservoir of knowledge is continually increasing.
I encourage you to spend a few minutes to review your own organizational culture. Are employees empowered? Does information flow freely? Do you know how your employees feel about the organization? MANTEC offers a cultural assessment (OrgSCAN™) to get these answers and more. Look beyond your four walls to find success.