Culture Is More Than a Concept
Recently, I read with interest a book by Patty McCord, former Chief Talent Officer for Netflix titled: “Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility." While not every organization can replicate the tactics employed by Netflix, the concepts of accountability, responsibility, decentralized decision-making and non-negotiable standards of performance and behavior are common aims for most business owners and CEOs. Getting there isn’t easy and it likely won’t follow the same path blazed by Netflix. But it is doable for leaders with vision, commitment, character, and will.
To be sure, some of the practices in place at Netflix may be considered unorthodox; even radical. The author is very straightforward in her assessment of the current state of the HR function in most organizations. From compensation schemes (driven mostly by comparable salary data that reflects the average of what average companies pay their average people) to hiring processes and standards, to effectively and humanely separating from employees (an inevitable consequence for a growing, changing organization) to my personal favorite, performance reviews; McCord offers a compelling rationale for making major changes in the status quo approach.
The change process starts with an organizational assessment. While this can be done internally, it is most effective when facilitated by an outside, objective process facilitator. It also requires the full commitment and active involvement of executive leadership. Utilizing reliable and valid assessments as a starting point, choosing where to begin becomes clearer. And while data is essential, it is best used to inform decisions, as opposed to driving them.
Businesses has always been challenging, perhaps never more than now. Changing customer demand, supply chain issues, rising costs, competition for talent and the uncertain status of the health and welfare those around us all serve to bring elevated levels of complexity and stress. Chances are that your organization is on the precipice of significant organizational change; the question is will this be externally or internally driven?
For more information on how to begin a comprehensive review of your business, contact me at email@example.com.
Joseph P. Truncale, Ph.D., CAE, is the Founder and Principal of Alexander Joseph Associates, a privately held consultancy specializing in executive business advisory services with clients throughout the graphic communications industry.
Joe spent 30 years with NAPL, including 11 years as President and CEO. He is an adjunct professor at NYU teaching graduate courses in Executive Leadership; Financial Management and Analysis; Finance for Marketing Decisions; and Leadership: The C Suite Perspective. He may be reached at Joe@ajstrategy.com. Phone or text: (201) 394-8160.