In my last blog post, I shared that organizational culture is a purposefully created concept that must be communicated from the top down consistently if you want cultural adoption and business success. Practically, though, how do you build and share an organizational culture across varied people, teams, time zones and geographic cultures? And, if your culture is focused specifically on quality, do you do anything different?
First, if you are in a position of influence, you are in the perfect place to drive the quality culture through the organization. One of the two most significant barriers to implementing any change or driving home best practices is lack of buy-in by senior management. If you are not senior management, you need to convert them fully to the quality culture vision. Bottom up and sideways are not methods that usually yield long-term success in cultural dissemination.
Second, as mentioned in my last blog post, the quality culture must be adopted across the entire organization – no silos, no hold-out teams or pockets of resistance – if you want to achieve your goals. If you are in senior management, avoiding silos will be easier, but not a given. Communication is important – what you communicate, when and how often. And, communication with engagement (think action) is more effective. No one likes lectures. And, more importantly, people don’t do their best when they are not personally vested.
Many best practice writings suggest the top activities you might try in your efforts to build and share a quality culture. While you can read the entire book(s), the following guiding points should supply enough direction to keep us busy and will yield measurable success.
1. Ensure executives are involved and accountable for culture dissemination.
2. Combine top-down communication and collaborative engagement methods.
3. People matter more than measurements.
And – do you do anything differently if your culture is focused specifically on quality? No. The methods and actions are the same—only the what, the content, of your communication changes.
An eclectic mix of books I have found useful in considering organizational culture: Ari Weinzweig’s Zingerman’s Guide to Giving Great Service, Bo Burlingham’s Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big, and Dan Pontefract’s Creating a Connected and Engaged Organization.