My Fascination with Organizational Culture

Stephen Covey says “Begin with the end in mind.” I don’t know where my journey will end. That doesn’t stop me from imagining where the journey will take me.  One of the stops will be in a studio with Jordan Harbinger as I hawk my book Disruptive Cultures: Harnessing the Power of Culture to Drive Strategy, Fuel Innovation and Sustain Growth”. The first question will undoubtedly be something along the lines of “What made you so fascinated with organizational culture in the first place?” Well, Jordan…

I have been devoting myself to self-studying entrepreneurship for several years. Delivering customer value through innovation was how startups made it and how existing companies would sustain their growth.  When I came upon the Strategy Map tool it all clicked.

The Strategy Map is made up of four perspectives (top to bottom): Financials, Customer, Processes, Learning & Growth.  At first, I thought they were arranged from an order of importance from top to bottom. Upon further inspection, the order might’ve been by priority, but it wasn’t by importance.

The Learning & Growth perspective is made up of things such as People, Decision Making, Management, Teamwork, Values. In a word culture.  It was clear to see then that Company Culture was then foundational to the type of Internal Processes used to service the Customer which drove Financials.

Culture is the companies collective mindset.  It drives everything that a company does.  That is why my fascination has shifted from Innovation to Culture.  When properly understood and analyzed, culture can solve entrenched business problems and bring about lasting change.   If leaders want to Begin with the end in mind, they must begin by focusing on culture.