There is a prevailing misconception that only those that are in Fortune 500 companies have a corporate culture.
Small organizations have culture too. Every organization has culture if its made up of people. People have culture.
Culture is anything that governs behavior. It could be the founding principles, values, beliefs, ethos, and assumptions about the organization. It could be how the Founder thought the business should be. It could be anything that is accepted tacitly but never consciously questioned.
While culture is never stagnant, it could get stale and could be fossilized into something that your organization is fighting against. It could be a tradition devoid of any pragmatic and practical use for the organization. It could be a culture fighting a new strategy that is bent on bringing new and fresh perspective with the way things are done. It could be anything that is made to become the standard of behavior of people in the organization.
Culture cannot be static and immutable. It has to grow and flourish in the service of the company's goals and objectives. It has to be tended as people and culture go along together in creating the best company/organization where people prefer to work, invest, and support through patronage and client loyalty.
Show me your office culture and I will show you who you are!
When we talk about disruption in our economies, we rarely talk about how these changes impact on our careers and professions.
Disruption is the new normal. It is becoming trite and tired already.
The reason why organizations get disrupted is because they fail to anticipate the obvious- the sea of change that is enveloping their very existence.
If you are not innovating, you are not growing. And if you are not growing, you will be disrupted. Innovation in my vocabulary is not about invention. Innovation is the engine of disruption.
Have you heard lately that Payless is closing all of its stores in Canada, some in US and Puerto Rico? According to the news, the reason for the closure is that the prior reorganization was ill-equipped to account for the current retail realities -which means that the management made a big mistake by not accounting for the growing online shopping in Northern America.
It is quite revolutionary that the buying patterns of the public has led to massive reorientation and bankruptcies of major retail players, Sears, ToysRUs, Macy’s, to name the recent ones that have folded or beginning to fold up.
While Payless caters to the lower segment of the market where price is a sensitive issue, it wasn’t immune to the competition that is happening online when buyers shifted the way marketing, merchandizing, branding and promotions, distribution, delivery, payment systems, and customer services are done with retail. Big box companies are beginning to see the follies of the mantra, “big is big.”
What should be obvious is the Walmart remains the number 1 competitor in industry. Walmart is trying to succeed in the online shopping space where Amazon remains the industry leader with selling things online. Amazon and Walmart is up to the races to the future of the marketplace. Let's see who will win but at present, these two companies have shown that it pays to be adaptable and to listen to your customers!
Are you planning to improve your organization this year? or are you gearing up to do the same-old, same-old?
A lot of organizations these days tend to do the latter. They think that by cruising along and being more busy (than means doubling up on the amount of programs and activities), they are being strategic and effective. Effectiveness here means in my vocabulary the ability to achieve the outcomes and results they wish to seek through their efforts.
Businesses, nonprofits, and governments cruising along and wishfully thinking that they can copy past success by doing the same thing are totally misled. If there is no effort to improve and surpass past year's performance, status can keeps mean sweeping the problem under the rug delaying the resolution of some of the issues pestering the organization that will actually help the organization move forward.
Are you stalling to discuss the next direction of your organization for fear of catching more problems than anticipated? What about the changing environment where complacency doesn't do you any good?
Get out of your comfort bubble and tackle the obstacles in building a new and secure strategic direction before an overwhelming situation compels it at your own expense.
No matter how good you are, how best you are in your field, if you are not evolving and learning everyday, your business, organization, or skillset will hit atrophy and will fall by the wayside of the fast-evolving marketplace.
The market is as brutal as it is. It does not care if you are bankrupt, or starving or needing affirmation. It only wants the best that you can offer. The kind of service, product, skills, and talent that the market can appreciate and pay.
Will you be those that will be take waves when the market is at the peak or those that wait until the innovation has plateaued and you become the laggards and late bloomers? Do you take innovation by the horn and say "we will innovate now before we get disrupted?" or say " let's take our time, we are fine right now and there is no need to rock the boat?". The latter are the words of doom. It spells trouble in the long term for the convenience of the present.
Evolve or disappear in the marketplace. That is how tough you need to play because the market does not wait for anybody to be convinced. It is there for the taking for those that are smart, nimble, aware, and ever-present of opportunities and challenges. They ride on the crest of what is possible.
Do not be complacent about where you are in your career. It is not at ticket to a great retirement or a way to pat yourself that life has been good. It can change anytime and only disrupted workers are bitter workers. If you have to end it well, end it on your terms. The way to live to is to have plans for the next steps. Nothing is so stable now that cannot be moved.
Your Theory of Change is your organization's statement as to how your mission will achieve your vision.
What constitutes an effective Theory of Change?
-Clear causal chains leading to change
-Your inputs, outputs, and outcomes reflect the change
-Explains the underlying assumptions of actions, activities, programs, and portfolios
-Gives explanations to other factors leading to or achieving change
-Gives analysis and context of how change can happen and in what conditions
-Accounts for their contribution to the overall change that they want to see
The theory of change is not:
-About defending the theory or framework itself
-Not about being truistic or being tautological
-Being naïve that your theory of change is unique and never been done somewhere, somehow
-Not learning from lessons of other practitioners, not looking over your shoulder to see what others' have done with the challenges and issues
- Too simplistic, myopic, and mechanistic
- The premise that we 'don't know the solution yet, so our theory of change is about proving the theory." Very wrong.
What is your theory of change? Your theory of change says a lot about the quality of the analysis you put in your work and how it makes a difference every day?