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Aligning Culture with Business Strategy



All organisations invest a significant amount of time and money into building what they feel will be a great culture that meets their business strategy.  But how do you know if that investment is paying off?  This article written by Talent Management focuses on a product from Deloitte Consulting called Culture Path.   Culture is how the business strategy becomes reality and to measure the alignment the Deloitte product defines behaviours that should exist to support a business, assesses a company’s current culture and compiles insights that can guide the company in the future.   The steps include: -

To define company culture and measure it, Deloitte outlines the following steps:

  • Align culture and strategy.
  • Look at the eight indices, as outlined by Deloitte, and identify what behaviours to enable from these indices.

The four core indices are foundational to each organisation.

  • Risk and control: This determines the extent to which people take risks at the company.
  • Collective focus: A balance of team vs. individual focus.
  • External orientation: How much an organisation emphasises a focus on customers and stakeholders?
  • Change and innovation: The extent that an organisation emphasises ambiguity, change and risk.

Four differentiating indices drive an emotional connection to help the workforce execute the business strategy.

  • Courage: How readily people challenge status quo.
  • Inclusion: Working with diverse colleagues’ ideas.
  • Commitment: Willingness of employees to support the larger business plan.
  • Shared beliefs: How easily people join in common understanding of the company challenges and opportunities.

A three step process (as all good consulting engagements should be): -

  1. Define who your culture carriers are. These are often leaders. Define what leader behaviours need to be in order to live the culture. For example, to increase courage, leaders should support their staff when taking risks.
  2. Systematically reinforce the behaviour. Find important company events where culture comes out, such as sales process, annual budget process and the performance management process. Rewarding or aligning those with attributes of behaviour is important in monitoring culture.
  3. Have leaders tell stories. “There’s a power of storytelling in an organisations is really important for the culture and for connecting emotionally with your workforce” . When communicating the importance of taking risks, employees will respond to a story about a risk the leader took, how they failed and what they learned. This is more powerful than simply hearing a leader say, “Take risks.”

Comments by Mary Sue Rogers

Posted On : 16-07-16

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