How is Culture like an Iceberg?
As organizations respond to the need to continuously adapt, change and transform, the alignment and coordination of interrelated organizational elements is key to success. One of those elements is the culture of your organization. Culture sets the tone of how we do things around here. It defines and explains the way an organization or team operates. No matter how good your business strategy is, when it comes down to it, people always make the difference. Few factors contribute more to business success than culture the system of values, beliefs, and behaviours that shape how work gets done within an organization.
We know from the Titanic that only the top of the iceberg was visible; the larger portion was underneath the water and invisible yet had great impact – it brought the Titanic down!
So, the visible aspects of culture (the 10% above the water line) are what we see on the surface: For example, the organization logo, symbols, how space is used, the way people dress, or the way they talk.
The not so visible, elements of culture (the 90%) are the values (what’s important, what we care about) and the behaviours (the way people act). They impact the organization in three ways:
- Establishes an identity – people feel connected and committed.
- Aligns everyone’s behaviour so that they’re rowing in the same direction.
- Provides the basis for making the right decisions and taking the right actions.
Essentially, it is what’s below the water line that drives the organization to success or failure. When it comes to designing culture, Integral Leadership Design can help you with:
- Connecting your culture redesign programs to your business strategy.
Understanding both the current and the desired culture.
Defining the desired culture you need.
Examining the organization to determine whether the desired culture is taking hold.
- Supporting senior leaders to shape the desired culture.
We offer the double advantage of providing coaching and consulting to assess, design and implement culture design programs that are built to increase sustainable change-enabled organizational effectiveness. We start with understanding what the current culture is, and then outline the kind of culture that is needed to make your business successful. From there we build a desired culture roadmap designed to getting your organization to where it needs to be.
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