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What is Culture & Achieving Cultural Alignment-Thought Leadership Article 3

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Keyur Thakore

President & Founder Director at KTA Associates

Article two of the series spoke of the predominant role of HR being towards achieving cultural alignment.

Having spoken to several HR professionals on this subject, I have come to the conclusion that there are diverse views and understanding of what organization culture means. Also there were some who said but "organizational culture can change" so how does one ensure people are always aligned? Lets then start with defining What is Organization Culture and only then attempt at having people aligned to it.

My definition of Organization Culture: " that which is driven by those common shared values that people working in an organization believe are uncompromisable"  and note 'People' does not mean Management alone for here lies the difference between setting a foundation for "cultural alignment" or "cultural dis-alignment".  And yes while culture can change over time, if core values change, but, given that we have a collective set of people involved in this happening, the less chances of a cataclysmic organizational cultural meltdown happening. 

Now let us move ahead with the discussion on the predominant role of HR in ensuring 'cultural alignment' of people's individual culture with that of the organization. Yes, lest we forget, each one of us comes with a set of core values (some may add beliefs to this definition) which at times are so deeply manifested that, they become the driving force of our reactions at work (albeit un-consciously). 

Here then is where HR has to focus its energy ...with people within and those that will be recruited later, ensuring that an individual's culture aligns with the organizational culture. For those already working its taking those small steps that help people understand the 'What','How' and 'Why' the organization does what it does which reflects the very core values it believes in ...its "Culture". Then thru a series of re-alignment strategies (be it training, seminars etc) ensure that every person puts these ahead of their own 'individual culture' both within the work environment and lives and breathes this outside of work place too. Thus making them "Brand Ambassadors" of the 'Organizational Culture' . An identity that they can wear with pride. 

For new hires, the hiring itself should be done keeping the culture of organization in mind thus, ensuring better and faster fitment into the work environment. 

Tackling this one core area, HR can address almost all issues they face be it talent attraction, retention, productivity/performance, improved team dynamics etc.     

This is the third in the series of Thought Leadership Articles that we at KTA will put out with the intent not to hurt sentiments but to provoke discussion on various subjects. Views on subjects can be shared so as to create a platform for Industry experts & professionals to discuss new ideas and share experiences to cut down the learning curve for others.

As a leader in Executive Search, Cross Cultural Sensitization workshops and soft skill training, we believe that it is the "People" that make a difference between a successful organization and one that could have been. 

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