Organizational Culture

transform-logoMaintaining a consistent organizational culture is difficult to do when you are experiencing growth.

Companies that franchise spend a lot of money to ensure that their culture and product quality are transferred to every new location, and they have a pretty strict set of guidelines that the new store must agree too and maintain in order to keep their franchise working.

Andrew A. Caffey would  identify these things are “foundational” in maintaining culture:

#1)  Effective Training

Every employee or team members receives extensive training that includes the foundation of the company, the purpose and core values.  Every person hears the same message.

#2)  Charismatic Leadership

Often there is a leader that sets the tone, and the team members and employees follow that tone. They see the culture lived out through the leader and they copy that.

#3)  A Clear Mission Statement

Everyone understands the purpose and the mission.  There is no question about it. It’s clear, simple and repeatable.

#4)  Meetings and Community

When team members or employees come together there is energy.  They remember why they do what they’re doing and they get excited about that.

#5) Effective Communication Tools

Healthy organizations use various means of communication to remind people of the values of culture and the mission of the organization.

I had the privilege to see this in action this week.  I have been visiting an organization located in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  The organization is called Transform Cambodia and they operate a series of children’s centers providing education, tutoring, english teaching, sharing the message of hope and much, much more.

I had the opportunity to visit a number of these centers, meeting a variety of staff members from the country director, to office staff to center managers to children in the centers.

What blew me away was that in every center and with every conversation, I saw the corporate culture on display.  They all understood what they were there to do, why they existed. You could see it in the animation of the leaders and staff, you could see it in the pride they took in how the centers looked and you could feel it through the joy on the children’s faces.

Purpose and Vision “oozed” from every person that I encountered.

I began asking questions and learned these things:

*The leadership values training, communication and connecting.  This takes work, but they make it a priority.

*The leadership chooses the “right people”.  They take this very seriously and they look for people who will carry this culture and who believe in it. They have an incredible group of leaders and staff, each with their own story, and each with skills and gifts that fit perfectly into the vision of the organization.

*The impact is seen in the children’s lives, in the families of these children and in the communities.  You can see the transformation.

It is possible to maintain organizational culture in an organization as it grows, expands and matures, but it takes work.

What are you doing to maintain your culture and ensure that it is being embraced and transferred through all that you do?

Fast food chains see the value in this and spend time, money and energy to ensure this in their company.

We need to do the same within our organizations.  It brings value.

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