Crisis Performance - Deepstash

Crisis Performance

In crisis situations, be honest about the scale of the problems, transparent about how long it will likely take to recover, clear about the actions you want people to take, and positive about opportunities ahead in line with the strategy.

People remember the words and sentiments of leaders in times of crises far more than in other moments.

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Business leaders often are tempted to focus on strategy over culture. But the strongest companies take four key actions that deliver the best of both.

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MORE IDEAS FROM Mastering the connection between strategy and culture

A Fresh Imperative To Act

Every organization faces a unique set of challenges and contexts. There are strategic moments in an organization’s journey that have a disproportionate impact on outcomes.

Getting them right creates a multiplier effect on other activities as people learn new ways of working and increase their advocacy for the program of work.

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Creating the structures that incentivize performance in line with the strategy requires careful design, consultation, and implementation.

Short-term, individualistic performance measures will rarely enable a strategy founded on collaboration.

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There are four actions that leaders need to take to help navigate that journey successfully:

  • Start in the Right place by understanding the current link between your company’s strategy and culture.
  • Create a common language for your strategy and culture teams to use.
  • Explore the potential of the culture by learning about mindsets, skill sets and practices.
  • Understanding the expectations of the strategy and communicating in a way that everyone understands.

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Managing to focus on each of the imprintable moments individually should not be that difficult.

Focusing on all of them consistently and coherently is much harder, yet it is critical if you want to embed new organizational norms and behaviors that support the strategic intent.

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A launch is one of the most high-profile actions in the eyes of customers, let alone employees.

It should exemplify the strategic direction of the business and showcase the culture the organization is looking to evolve.

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There are important moments with employees—if they are new to the organization, underperforming, ambitious, or looking for a change in roles—in which it’s vital to discuss and clarify strategic priorities and expectations for performance and behavior.

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The messages imparted to recruits in the selection and onboarding process should reflect the strategic priorities (as communicated to the candidates), while the interviewers (and others involved) should demonstrate the desired traits and behaviors.

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If you want to encourage more curiosity as a cultural trait, negotiations should involve sufficient time spent understanding the interests of the parties involved and exploring a range of options for mutual gain.

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If you want your culture’s defining traits to be inclusivity, empowerment, and collaboration, the strategy process must reflect this desire. Opening up strategy development to participation, away from the typical top-down, closed approach, is a crucial act.

It might involve running “dream sessions” in which employees envision the future of the company or contests designed to encourage participation and co-creation from customers, suppliers, and partners.

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RELATED IDEA

In most organizations, culture and strategy tend to be discussed in separate conversations.

Executives know that a negative culture can hurt company performance, but they may not know how to deal with it.

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Cognitive culture vs emotional culture
  • When people talk about corporate culture, they’re typically referring to cognitive culture: the shared intellectual values, norms, artifacts, and assumptions that serve as a guide for the group to thrive.
  • The other critical part is what we call the group’s emotional culture: the shared affective values, norms, artifacts, and assumptions that govern which emotions people have and express at work and which ones they are better off suppressing.

Cognitive culture is often conveyed verbally, whereas emotional culture tends to be conveyed through nonverbal cues.

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Organizational Health

According to a decade long research, the health of an organization is based on alignment with a robust strategy, deep-rooted culture, and a clarity of vision.

The health of an organization can also be defined as the capacity or ability to deliver superior financial and operating performance.

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