Last month our blog discussed what is Culture  and why does it matter.

Essentially Culture is the attitudes, belief sets, values, written ground rules, and unwritten ground rules that set the tone of the organization and the guidelines by which employees make decisions.

If you want to use the powerful force of Culture as a motivational tool, you have to identify the culture you want and that will support the organizational goals. The Alexander Group has identified what they call the “management compass” based on what an organization focuses on (see list below- basic types of cultures).

Steps to align Culture with Goals

  1. Decide what type of culture you have now and want — see short list below (basic types of cultures) to find yours
  2. Is there a gap between current and desired Culture? Do you need Culture change?
  3. Identify the organizational strategy and short-term goals
  4. Communicate Values and performance that will support the Culture and achieve the goals/ results
  5. Train and coach immediate supervisors to recognize behaviors that demonstrate desired performance, and to give corrective feedback when behaviors show a lack of commitment to the values or goals
  6. Reward those employees (financial and non-financial) that show a commitment to the values or goals
  7. Council employees who are not demonstrating the expected Values and/or Actions and explain consequences, then act on those consequences if there is not adequate improvement
  8. Continue steps 4-7 as long as the strategy and goals are similar (if the strategy changes dramatically and requires a new Culture (think Kodak) then go back to #1 to identify new desired Culture)

Basic types of cultures (what is valued):

  • Results oriented
  • Focus on shareholders
  • Employee oriented
  • Individualistic
  • Customer focused
  • The organization as an Institution
  • Great at execution (achieving goals)

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at