Design of organisation’s culture means deliberate influencing of the beliefs, values and behaviour of the members of the organisation.
Samples of ways of influencing the beliefs, values and behaviour within an organisation:
  • Influencing the sense of history – legends of “heroes”, stories of common past activities, victories, hard times etc.
  • Defining the membership – designing the management and roles, declaring norms and values, symbols, setting common goals in line with the mission of the organisation
  • Caring – reward system, career management, recruiting, new members initiation, development and training of the members
  • Systematic communication – agreements, involvement in decision making, coordination of the co-operation of teams, supporting individual communication of each member of the organisation.

Main pitfalls of developing favourable organisational culture with counter measures:

Pitfall Counter measure
Rigid selection of management styles and authoritarian style is dominating in selection Authoritarian management style is suitable in crises situation with a lot of confusion where a leader must create order and sense of security quickly. According to the surveys permanent authoritarian style management outside crises situation decreases initiative and commitment of the team members. More beneficial approach for the leader is to be a trainer and a coach supporting the team members in their pursuit reaching their goals. Naturally the leader carefully sees that the individual goals are in line with the overall goals if the organisation. This enables the management to be built on self-realisation synergy where all stake holders get the benefit of team members’ motivated self-realisation.
The leader offers solutions instead of asking good questions. Due to time constraints it is tempting to make decisions without involving people that are effected by the decision. There will be more resistance in implementing the decisions when these people have not been involved in problem definition and design of solution. As a whole there is less time needed for proper implementation of the necessary changes when people have been involved in early enough stage. Your own solution might seem perfect at first but when asking proper questions the initial solution might develop still substantially. People feel more ownership and responsibility when they have participated the change process early enough and thus they are more eager in implementing the changes.
The leader does not handle an individual as a whole. A leader’s energy is dependent on how she/he manages him-/herself as a whole. It is not sustainable to concentrate only on work forgetting social relationships and health etc. This will create imbalance in the long run exhausting leader’s energy resources. Similarly as taking care of him-/herself should the leader take care of his/her subordinates. Holistic development of each individual including him-/herself is one of the top priorities of a leader.
Unbeneficial beliefs. Unbeneficial beliefs lead to unbeneficial attitudes. Beliefs are self-fulfilling predictions. Henry Ford quoted an old Chinese proverb: “Say that it is not possible and you have right. Say that it is possible and you have right.” A good leader makes it clear what kind of beliefs exist in his/her organisation and he/she systematically influences the prevailing beliefs.
Reactive time management is prevailing. Liider näeb palju ja teab palju. Temal on ka suur oht asuda ise liiga palju asju lahendama, sest tal on selleks kogemusi ja teadmisi. Eriti tüüpiline on käitumine ettevõtjatest juhtidel, kes ei usalda „oma lapsukest“ võõraste kätte. Sellise käitumise tagajärjel aga meeskonna suutlikkus ei parane ning võib olla haavatav liidri äraolekul. Liidril oleks oma ja kogu töötajaskonna panuse maksimeerimise eesmärgil kasulik võimalikult palju ülesandeid delegeerida. Oma tegevused tuleks aga alati kalendrisse paigutada, et oleks selgus ka ajapiirangute osas.
The leader does not see him-/herself as part of the organisation. The leader is integral part of the organisation he-/she belongs to. He/she can’t just develop the organisation without developing him-/herself as well. In practice often the organisation’s ability to develop is directly linked to and dependent on the leader’s ability to develop him-/herself. Awareness of self-development issues requires high EQ.

Self-assessment – what is the organisation culture like in your organisation?

Level 1
Low level of trust. People are afraid of, and often with good reason, that they will be exploited. In failure situations people are accusing each other. The managers tell what to do and how to do it and subordinates just fulfil orders like parts of a machine.
Level 2
People are aware of the existing organisation culture. People are aware of the strengths and weaknesses of the existing culture. There are initiatives to improve the culture: there are systematic initiatives to improve leadership skills and people are involved in development activities.
Level 3
People are sharing common values and there is an inspiring vision and mission driving the motivation of the people. Co-operation is on good level. Employees’ input and their mental and material rewards are in balance. People are involved in decision making which in turn supports their commitment. Enthusiastic general atmosphere prevails.
Level 4
A common vision, mission and values are inspiring all stake holders for co-operation. Employees are highly motivated feeling that they can realise themselves and the working environment supports their continuous development.
Level 5
High level of trust. Self-guidance prevails and people take responsibility and make autonomous decisions getting continuously excellent results. Organisation and its members form synergetic whole and the synergy is strong between all the stakeholders across the organisational borders.