Company Culture—From Chaos to Constructive: Solid Corporate Standards Build Solid Foundations
Company Culture is the Lifeline of Your Organization.
Please understand that I am not implying that any individual would be better suited to develop a standard than another at any time in this article.
Your business, large or small, must be built around solid decisions. The choices made when establishing a company will have long-term effects in many areas. The repercussions of poor initial choices will affect all levels of an organization.
Depending on the organization’s size, these effects will go unrecognized for quite a while. When a business grows, a parallel increase in activity is required to maintain forward momentum.
A company that fails to review its corporate culture regularly as part of its overall development will become a stressful, tension-filled workplace. This will lead to employee burnout and fatigue. Ultimately, your best, however, now overworked and stressed out, employees will leave, putting management in a potential bind.
As each business has its ecosystem, the foundation they started with will be unique to them. If good planning and due diligence were done initially, there is a good chance of success and sustained growth.
Failure will eventually result if the initial setup is not well thought through.
A Well-Grounded Plan is Essential to Success.
In this article, I will discuss the critical areas that regularly need to be reviewed and considered to create a healthy and productive business. Identification of areas that are failing is crucial to moving forward.
I will focus on best reviewing a business’s existing corporate culture. This is a core value in developing an effective business plan with far-reaching implications.
After learning to identify areas of weakness, positive goals and a plan to develop and implement them must be established. This plan must include all levels of an organization, or the resulting culture will suffer.
Business Models and Corporate Mindset Cannot Become Stagnant.
Every business, large or small, is a living organization. If they want to remain competitive and move forward, its activity and plans must target constant improvement and future growth. This detail is easily overlooked when daily activity ramps up and today’s economy takes over the corporate world’s responsibilities.
The business that relies on the established routine, since it, “Just works, no need to change it,” will find themselves watching other organizations moving forward as they stagnate.
Regular Review of Corporate Goals and Working Environment are Critical.
Reviewing corporate environmental and organizational standards must be done in an organized and well-planned manner. Identifying and examining areas of required organizational change must start at the root level.
This often brings up unpopular issues that many people will not like discussing. The best effort will be wasted if the corporate mindset mutes these potentially divisive concerns.
Developing any “standard” that will include multiple people will create friction among those people at some point with someone involved. This is guaranteed to happen.
A Solid Plan Creates a Solid Foundation.
Employees are the very lifeblood of an organization. Their value must be recognized and must be included when considering policies impacting day-to-day activity.
Basic parameters and ground rules must be established before any discussion of standards is considered. Without this, everyone will be an expert on the topic, and they will defend their opinions fiercely.
This will generally create a situation in which many people will either shut down, not including valuable input, or the loudest voice will be the one to take over. Both of these situations will be failures.
Committees Come With Intrinsic Issues.
To include as many employees as is practical, an organization will often employ the “committee” approach as their first plan of attack, which is typically flawed. Let me explain where I am coming from.
A committee established to handle the standards task must represent all involved parties. Including all departments affected by any policy, while required, can become the committee’s most challenging hurdle to overcome.
The typical mindset when organizing this group is to include as many individuals as is deemed necessary to represent all areas of the business, possibly impacted by the standards development process.
The issue will require efficiency when selecting potential personnel with similar responsibilities. Having the critical personnel represented is necessary for success. However, it must be carefully managed.
When organizing a committee, one must remember that the higher the number of individuals included, the better the chance of disagreement between those individuals.
This disagreement can be productive in many ways, as multiple inputs will ensure that critical issues are brought to the table.
However, as I have seen firsthand, even though all are working towards a common goal, the selected personnel will infuse a discussion with some personal bias.
When a previous employer first established CAD standards, they set up a committee for the task. The team included individuals representing all appropriate groups. However, while it would have been functional with six people, the committee was set up with more than a dozen individuals.
The outcome was different from what management hoped for. Due to a lack of focus by the personnel involved, plodding progress was caused by too many opinions and ideas being thrown into the mix.
The issues that a standards committee decides on must encompass everything that will be impacted the process, down to the individual CAD operator’s daily activity. Yet including all personnel down to this level is not a practical approach.
One or two individuals per invested group who take the said group’s concerns into a committee will be much more efficient. A clear direction and forward-looking plan can then be achieved.
Company Management and Resulting Corporate Culture.
Typically standards and their development are considered overhead expenses. This issue is on management’s mind, I guarantee it. The hourly value of several employees, now sitting and discussing non-revenue-producing matters, does not go unnoticed.
The personnel involved in this process are also active in many other activities necessary to facilitate day-to-day activity.
Even though standards are a basic tenet of every viable business, their development cannot impede daily business activity.
The return on investment (ROI) of this effort will suffer if this occurs, turning the people crucial to a business’s success against its future progress possibilities.
Management, from their perspective, is interested in having a stable and smooth running operation. The key to this being successful is to have people who are respected and valued in an organization.
The bottom line for a business is to be profitable. A company lacking a solid foundation, including an efficient set of standards, will constantly react to daily fires.
This preoccupation with today’s issues will preclude any thoughts of improving the working environment. If this situation exists for an extended period, the business will suffer.