Culture encompasses the way in which the organization and its leaders presents themselves to the outside world as well as the way in which internal operations are conducted. Formal corporate culture, influenced by short term seeking leaders, involves everything that’s official—the corporation’s mission and value statement, the policy manual, the operating procedures, the performance review system, the organization chart, and so forth.
Leaders who believe that change should happen fast see quick fix triggers as the best form of influencing change. Informal culture that these leaders are fighting against involves what really happens within a company—the real values, beliefs, and practices established over time.
While more weight is usually given to the formal culture in planning and communicating inside and outside the organization, the informal culture is more important in shaping what really happens. And this causes friction between what the leader is pushing to make happen and the subtle resistance shown by the traditional - informal culture.
When the formal and informal corporate cultures clash, as often occurs with transformations, gridlock can ensue, as in the pitfalls described here. If a formal initiative is counter to the informal business culture, the informal culture will win every time. And many times such informal networks are sponsored at the leadership level and may manifest itself as gossip, back bites and political slandering amongst leadership members.
Work Ethic Disrupted
What about company cultures that responds, albeit reluctantly, after five mail reminders to get them to do what they are supposed to (Because they have read that people respond only after five reminders?) Leaders cannot build trust pretending to use the charade of open door culture & listening/contributing to gossip. What a joy is it to hear that the future of HR is more appropriate content/theory HR but all of Technology enabled HR. Its culture & change as it appears to become effective in an organizational context.
Some use “performance”, some "use" people to climb the corporate ladder. Leaders are expected to not believe what they see; Not believe what they hear too; Don't believe what you say; But believe what you investigate/prove. In data, you trust and leave the rest to God. Tough. But what choice? Leaders, only job is to defend integrity in each of the actions of their institution & its members. But when they don't then you have just one recourse.
How many popularity seeking leaders have the integrity and courage to not bad mouth their predecessors and get on with fixing things? And it is literally only those leaders who are political or popularity seeking styles, who cannot get on with the job mandated to do. Mouthing governance, preaching ethics, advocating value based practices & breaching all in letter & spirit is a corporate breakdown and more so when it is led from the top. When bad things are said about your firm, do people take pains to tell its leaders? If not be sure that your people believe in those bad things – be it gossip, fact or folklore.
When good things happen to your team members are you the first few to know. If not ask yourself why not? There could be many revealing answers. Board should check this first. Measure the commitment of leaders towards her people by the number of reminders and follow ups they do before their issues are resolved. Measure why leaders use appeasement to win popularity. Perhaps, we now know one answer, at least.
They are insecure! Can't be a greater joy than to see your team rise above to come together to do what is right. Reinforces faith that teaching your team values is more important than training them on simply to be competent.
Praise in public. Reprimand in private. Exaggerate the good in people. Downplay their weaknesses.
Small world short life. It’s worth it. It is great governance when best of leaders would either not take up or step down if they feel they are not competent/ready to do the job or when knowledge, skills, behavior, wisdom needed to run corporate enterprises.
Or when you take responsibility for organizational crisis without being asked to take responsibility.