Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Business culture is an immensely important but often overlooked aspect of a successful organisation. The strongest internal cultures are the ones which thrive in a regularly changing internal atmosphere. To assess the strength of the business culture within your organisation, you need to ask yourself one question: if all staff members were to be changed, would the business still have a similar environment and dynamic? If the answer is yes, then your business culture is strong, as employees are working within an established environment, rather than influencing the organisation through their own personalities.
Ensuring that business culture is in line with a company's established goals is the key to its successful utilisation. There are numerous potential cultures that a company can instil depending on what they want to broadcast, ranging from the offer of internal development to open staff communication.
The variety of cultures, and their individual successes, is vast in the world of business. One organisation may strive to establish an internal culture which is entirely different to that of its main competitor. Successfully planning and implementing a chosen business culture within an organisation is a tricky task, and the complexity of business culture is itself a minefield of different codes of conduct and ethics. What should be focused on is ensuring the strength of the chosen culture, and making sure that it is reflected in the attitude of employees.
But what about the employees themselves?
Entering a company with an ingrained internal culture, or even being part of a business which is in the midst of having its culture re-aligned, can pose a daunting proposition for an employee looking to adapt to a new environment. This is coupled with the notion that businesses, regardless of the spin associated with internal communication, may choose to only adhere to the ethics they are bound to by law. Providing an internal culture in which a particular employee was hoping for (such as an advertised route of internal development and promotion) may not be within a company's cultural strategy, and could prove to add to the stress of switching into an unfamiliar corporate environment.
There is no environment more unfamiliar than the overseas market. Confidently understanding the business culture of an overseas division is vital for a new investor, as the understanding of what drives a company to succeed is paramount to seeing a strong return on investment. The good news is that there are services out there to train people, or at least assist them, in understanding this environment.
The IoDB consists of recently retired senior UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office diplomats, who offer an invaluable level of knowledge and experience to aid on the understanding of business culture. Meetings consist of one-on-one and small group discussions, within which participants are treated to the advice of tutors who include former business attaches and ambassadors.
Clients of the Institute are briefed in regards to business etiquette, whereby they are given the tools to adapt successfully within a particular corporate environment. This service allows a client to confidently step into a new business culture, rather than be discouraged by a daunting and unfamiliar corporate structure.
David writes for the IoDB - find out more information about them here - http://www.diplomacyandbusiness.com