Confused About Business Culture? Learn The 4 Pillars of an Effective Culture

By Pavan Muzumdar

There’s a lot of talk these days about culture. Lou Gerstner, the legendary CEO of IBM during the 1990s and early 2000s is believed to have said, “…culture isn’t just one aspect of the game, it is the game. In the end, an organization is nothing more than the collective capacity of its people to create value”. That all sounds great, but what exactly is culture?

As the leader in your company you know in your gut what your company should be doing. You’ve built your business on being able to deliver real and tangible value to your customers by addressing their needs. Often, leaders are so clear on what needs to be done, they don’t see the relevance of creating a great culture.

Learn about the 4 Pillars of an Effective Culture so that your organization can continue to create value for the long term.

Create the Ideal Culture

If you’re leading a growing company you have probably experienced the communication complexity that follows a growing team. You’re also probably seeing first hand evidence of the team not being on the same page relative to the direction and priorities of the company. It is time to look into this elusive concept of culture.

Learn about the 4 Pillars of an Effective Culture so that your organization can continue to create value for the long term.

Pillar #1: Purpose
Does your company have a clear purpose?

If your answer is making money or generating a profit, that’s not it. While those are very important, they’re not the end goal. They only help keep it going and be sustainable. The purpose is a bigger reason why your business exists. Since the late 1970s, Steve Jobs defined Apple Computer’s purpose as having a computer serve a single person and that person not having to learn how to use it. This clear purpose has driven the development of the very first Apple II personal computer to the Apple technology we use today.

Pillar #2: Vision
Do you have a clear vision that embodies the realization of your company’s purpose?

The vision of the Oxfam, an international confederation of 17 organizations with presence in 90 countries has a simple vision statement: “A just world without poverty”. In the 1970s Microsoft set its vision to be “A computer on every desk”. Such simple vision statements set crystal clear direction for a team. Using these vision statements can help define a company’s mid-term (3 years out), near term (one year out), and short term (90 days) goals.

Pillar #3: Values

Purpose and vision provide the guidelines for the values upon which the team operates. These are the guiding principles that define the behavior and decision making processes for the company. It’s impossible to anticipate every single situation faced by individuals or teams within a business. Having clear values can help ensure that at every step of the way, the purpose and vision is closer to being realized.

Pillar #4: Trust

Trust is the glue that binds organizations together. Without trust everything falls apart. The goal of purpose, vision, and value is to enhance trust. Trust is the embodiment of a culture. When you have high-levels of trust, human friction is reduced or eliminated which results in the collective alignment and focus of all members.

Enhance your Company with Culture

By utilizing purpose, vision, values, and trust, you’ll begin to build the ideal business culture. As an organization’s leader, once a culture is in place, you’ll soon be able to focus your efforts on other important aspects of the business. Reducing human friction is just one of the pressures culture helps to relieve. PCS Insight can help guide your organization in the right direction to begin creating a sustainable business culture.

Pavan Muzumdar Managing Director