Corporate culture develops in every organization, whether anyone shapes and guides the process or not. The risk of letting culture develop as it will is that unproductive or negative cultural elements can become entrenched and be much harder to root out when you realize there is a problem.
The corporate culture consultant helps companies that are committed to creating a positive corporate culture. He or she also assists companies that are undergoing major changes that want to ensure that key values remain in place during and after the transition and that the “new, improved” organization works toward worthy goals and values its team members and customers.
Creating Corporate Culture Like Creating a Productive Garden
Think of creating a great corporate culture as if you’re creating a garden from the ground up. You want to look at the elements that are already in place, like the sun position, where there’s shade, and where water drains to, similarly to how you would evaluate your company’s assets and attitudes.
Furthermore, you have to commit to every step of the process: testing the soil to see what’s lacking, enriching it appropriately, choosing what to plant, and tending to it, while pulling up weeds as soon as they pop up, not waiting for them to develop tenacious roots.
Though you may want your garden to be a productive place, perhaps there’s also a place for sheer beauty – perhaps an area of wildflowers, a border of perennial greenery, or a peaceful rock garden off in the shade. Analogous approaches are necessary for good corporate culture to develop.
What a Corporate Culture Consultant Does
Just as a master gardener works with people to show them how to get excellent results, the corporate culture consultant applies tools and processes to ensure that positive changes to corporate culture take place at every level of the organization.
First, they assess needs and determine which tools are necessary to define goals and work toward excellence in corporate culture, and then they ensure clients develop the necessary skills to handle both the incipient change and changes that occur later on. They may teach organizational leaders how to manage corporate culture and how to build stronger teams.
Overcoming Resistance to Change
The corporate culture consultant may be called upon to help organizational leadership overcome resistance to change. Resistance to change is only natural. Just as the soil of an untended garden becomes tough and difficult to work, corporate cultures that stubbornly cling to older, ineffective methods of achieving goals make cultural change harder than it needs to be.
The difference is, with the skills of the corporate culture consultant, an organization learns positive, forward-looking ways to encourage individuals and teams to embrace change, rather than having management force change on a workforce that may be bewildered or frightened by the possibility of major cultural upheaval.
Getting in Front of the Corporate Culture Narrative
Corporate culture will develop regardless. It’s up to organizational leadership to stay ahead of the corporate culture story and shape it, similarly to how a gardener shapes a box hedge to make it functional and beautiful, and to prevent it from growing in the wrong direction.
Most companies can’t afford to have an in-house corporate culture specialist all the time, and so they hire the services of the corporate culture consultant at critical junctures in corporate history. Change is inevitable, and the pace of change in today’s business world can be dizzying. When change is managed with skill and commitment, the results can be better than anyone predicted.
I am passionate about the importance of corporate culture to organizational excellence and have devoted significant time and effort toward spreading the word, through my books and my corporate culture services.