My friend Ann Zeller wrote a great article about how innovative companies are designing workplaces that reinforce collaboration and team unity. Leaders who are making a conscious effort to support their employees and give them the tools they need to succeed. You can read that here. That got me thinking about how some companies seem to drift and lose their competitive edge – and, more to the point I want to make, the entire company’s moral compass seems to come undone and you can witness the energy being sapped from otherwise productive employees.
I want to briefly outline what I call “Talent Strategy”. How your business strategy and corporate culture are intertwined and joined at the hip. Change one without considering the other and you’re putting your company in jeopardy. Here are a few thoughts on the topic:
- Without intellectual clarity about what your business strategy is, there can be no clarity regarding business culture. Your company’s culture is rooted in shared responsibility and shared success. Each employee needs to be on the same page regarding what exactly your mission is, why they are passionate about the mission, and why they go the extra mile for the company. And only a well-articulated, clearly defined strategy will get you there. Of significant importance, as the marketplace changes, your strategy will change, and your team will need to be kept abreast of those changes so everyone continues to sing from the same song sheet.
- Without passion, your people won’t want it more than your competition. If you want your employees to outperform their competition, you need to incentivise them and instill in them a sense of purpose, with the passion and energy that top performers require. Build this mantra into your business strategy. Make it a part of your culture.
- The role of corporate culture is to reinforce a sense of belonging. That each employee is part of a greater endeavor. If you want your company to change in reaction to the marketplace, you’re going to be asking a lot from your team members. Only by constantly reinforcing a sense of belonging (see Ann’s article for one example) will you be able to ask the most from your team.
- If you understand that the marketplace will change, and you’re going to have to adapt and change with it, and you’ll be asking your employees to make changes, then you better understand the importance of on-going education within your company and your company culture. To learn new skills and ways of doing business, the onus is on the company leaders to stay ahead of the curve and instill a learning atmosphere within the company culture.