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Organisation Culture – Warning!

Time for organisation leaders to move the focus on Organisational Culture up the priority list to the top of the pile.

Successful organisation do this as a matter of course.

For those that don’t, there is added impetus to the focus on Organisational Culture with the recently announced warning by Mr Greg Medcraft, the head of the Australia’s corporate watchdog, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).

Mr Medcraft placed Organisational Culture at the centre of ASIC’s activities by warning companies they must foster a positive culture or face “deep dive” investigations by ASIC.

According to Mr Medcraft, “Culture matters, to ASIC, to business and to customers”. He went on to say that “Culture is at the heart of how an organisation and its staff think and behave” and that that “its an issue that companies themselves must address”

Strong words from someone who matters.

Mr Medcraft goes on to say that “successful cultures would seek and value customer feedback, encourage challenge, guard against complacency and genuinely put customers at the heart of the business something only the organisation can determine.

Greg Medcraft says big banks and wealth managers cannot simply blame "bad apples" for misconduct. Source: Sydney Morning Herald. Photo: Cole Bennetts

So what can be done to address the need for a strong organisation culture? A good place to start is with the following questions:

  1. Who is responsible?

  2. What exactly is the organisation’s culture?

  3. How does organisation culture fit with all the other priorities of the organisation?

  4. Who can help?

Who is responsible?

As organisation culture affects the whole of the organisation, there is only one person who has this responsibility and that is the Chief Executive/Managing Director. This responsibility cannot be delegated, it is simply too important an element of their work to pass over to other people in the organisation.

What exactly is the organisation Culture?

Roh Singh, Founder and CEO of Populis, a Sydney, NSW business transformation organisation provides this view on Culture:

“Organisation Culture is a combination of values, character, rituals and beliefs, which create a deep bond with employees and makes their work highly meaningful and rewarding”.

Powerful words which need to be carefully considered and deeply understood.

How does organisation culture fit with all the other priorities of the organisation?

Organisation Culture does not live in isolation from the rest of the organisations activities. It is completely interwoven with the organisation’s strategy, its people and processes.

Take organisation strategy. This requires a perceptive insight, an ability to develop the right strategy and then being able to story tell engagingly so the right people get behind the plan. Developing and implementing a successful strategy relies on the “values, character, rituals and beliefs” found in a strong organisational culture.

While it maybe too obvious to state that the People component is equally telling in developing organisation culture, it is often overlooked. This is where the leader has to take full responsibility for ensuring the right people are selected, have clear responsibilities and support and enhance the organisation’s culture.

Perhaps less considered but just as important are the organisation’s processes. Do they enhance or inhibit organisation culture? Are they a key factor in success or a drag which blocks innovation and an ability to delight the customer?

A challenging set of questions to ponder with a critical requirement to take timely and appropriate action. It is clear that the question of organisation culture needs to be addressed within the context of what the organisation is trying to achieve, why the organisation exists and how it operates.

In effect, a whole of business review is required.

So who can help?

An organisation with a comprehensive set of assessment tools, a Framework which provides rapid and effective insight into all aspects of organisation current and desired state.

An organisation with experienced senior executives who can assist and guide the process so that the result is transformational.

An organisation with a track record of success.

For more information, see or contact for an immediate obligation free culture assessment or first consultation for free.

Otherwise, be prepared for a “deep dive” into your organisation by ASIC!


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