Organizational Culture

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The achievement of a strategy or the successful completion of a project are directly and indirectly impacted by organizational culture.  Every organization has a culture but not every culture is organized.  Organizational culture is a combination of the influence or lack of influence of the leadership, individual staff and their level of influence, the impact of regulation, enforcement of processes, etc.

Culture may vary by project team, department, company or even by country.  e.g. Greeks question and debate everything (probably why they invented Democracy) while many far-east cultures discourage open debate.

The organizational culture may include formal processes and goals and strict  enforcement or the culture may simply allow people to define their own roles and do as they please.  Culture is a collection of common routines, habits, and opinions that drive behavior.  These can be changed but it requires a concerted effort and some people may not survive the change (the business equivalent of the execution of non-conformists).

To summarize: Strategy must be supported by culture or strategy must actively try to change culture to achieve the strategy but they must be aligned.  If the culture conflicts with the strategy or plan, success is difficult.  If the culture of the entire organization cannot be changed, change it in the project team.  This will increase the chances for success.

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