Tuesday, June 8, 2010

CULTURE WITHIN ORGANISATION

The culture of a group can now be defined as: A pattern of shared basic assumptions that the group learned as it solved its problems of external adaptation and internal integration, that has worked well enough to be considered valid and therefore, to be taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think, and feel in relation to those problems.Organizational culture is the personality of any organization. Culture is comprised of the assumptions, values, norms and tangible signs (artifacts) of organization members and their behaviours. Members of an organization soon come to sense the particular culture of an organization. Culture is one of those terms that's difficult to express distinctly, but everyone knows it when they sense it. For example, the culture of a large, for-profit corporation is quite different than that of a hospital which is quite different that of a university. You can tell the culture of an organization by looking at the arrangement of furniture, what they brag about, what members wear, etc. - similar to what you can use to get a feeling about someone's personality.
Corporate culture can be looked at as a system. Inputs include feedback from, e.g., society, professions, laws, stories, heroes, values on competition or service, etc. The process is based on our assumptions, values and norms, e.g., our values on money, time, facilities, space and people. Outputs or effects of our culture are, e.g., organizational behaviors, technologies, strategies, image, products, services, appearance, etc.
The organisational culture is a crucial element of organisational life. It holds things together and it is the fabric of "the way we do things around here" but is also where bad habits become well-established and good intentions go off centre.
The concept of culture is particularly important when attempting to manage a organization. Practitioners are coming to realize that, despite the best-laid plans, organizational change must include not only changing structures and processes, but also changing the corporate culture as well.
Organisational culture is usually created by top management with the power to set direction and effect structure in organisations. Their leadership style, in turn, influences communication. Culture therefore influences the communication climate , degree of honesty and truthfulness in an organisation. Positive communication climates such as humanistic or participative, encourage problem-centred, open and honest communication where people tend to be respected and trusted. A poor communications climate has a clear business cost including low morale, reduced production, poor customer service, loss of reputation as well as bad mouthing the company, weak relationships and reduced personal and organisational learning.
Many strategic planners now place as much emphasis on identifying strategic values as they do the organizations mission and vision, due to organizational change efforts which fail the vast majority of the time as failure is recognised as lack of understanding about the strong role of culture and the vital role it plays within organizations.

Effective internal communication

Effective Internal Communications Ensure Company Vitality

Rumours circulated for several months among employees at a Midwest-based technology company that layoffs were about to happen due to the economy. Management caught wind of the rumours, but since it had no official plans for layoffs, made no announcements to reassure employees on the assumption that the panic would soon subside. A number of employees revised their resumes and searched for new jobs; a few people even jumped ship, taking new positions with competitors. Though the layoffs did not happen, the company lost several good people, and morale suffered due to the lack of communication. A simple, well-executed internal public relations (PR) effort such as a friendly, confident memo from the CEO hush up rumours and reassuring employees of their immediate job security could have averted this chain of events.
The importance of internal PR should never be underestimated. While many companies funnel significant resources into external PR efforts geared at gaining the support of the general public, customers, shareholders and industry and financial analysts, these same companies often overlook their most critical stakeholders--their own employees--by neglecting internal communications. Internal PR is a specialized PR discipline focused on optimizing a company's relationship with its employees by facilitating good communications between management and employees, boosting employee morale and interest, and spread the right information at the right time such as explanations of new plans and policies and how they will affect the organization and its employees. While an internal PR program is about sustaining a productive dialog with employees using a proven set of communications tools and activities including memos, newsletters and special events, it also requires a great deal of creativity, consistency and follow-through. But the rewards can be enormous.
Internal PR include everything from informing employees about exciting company product developments to their celebrating successes and encouraging employees to meet personal and organizational goals. For instance, a fast-growing home building materials company has devised a solid plan and strategy for launching several innovative products over the next 24 months to leapfrog competitors. However, without a supportive internal PR campaign, they may find themselves behind the curve. To keep employees performing at the high level required to meet company goals, management needs to give them the scoop--and the inspiration. An effective internal PR campaign could include have a series of CEO memos thanking employees for their teamwork and directing them to the company's intranet site for the latest product development details. It could also include a series of stories published in a corporate newsletter that highlights different employee roles in product development each month. The company could even hold an offsite employee event where the CEO makes a motivational speech, dinner is catered, and awards, corporate clothing and other special items are given out in recognition of employee roles in the company's success. The result is sure to be greater loyalty and higher morale, a worthwhile pay-off.
When well-executed, an internal PR program can create a cohesive company environment by giving employees a better understanding of the organization's objectives, operations and philosophy. Monthly company-wide e-mails from the president, quarterly meetings, information-rich intranet sites, printed newsletters, corporate giveaways, incentive programs and company parties are just a few ideas as the possibilities are unlimited. Internal PR programs can vary as much as company culture, size and structure, yet all require long-term, dedicated resources to succeed. While some companies prefer to hire and maintain their own internal communications department, many choose to work side by side with an experienced PR/advertising agency that brings significant internal PR know how to the table. A seasoned agency can help any company shine by leveraging effective internal PR strategies, plans and tools to improve company vitality through better internal communications.

People supervision

SUPERVISION PEOPLE: YOUR MOST COMPLICATED, MOST SATISFYING TASK

To be an effective manager you must know yourself by examining your motivation for working and wanting to own or run a business. Unless you feel people can be enhanced, developed and "grown," you will undoubtedly be unhappy and unproductive, and more importantly, you will be counterproductive to those you manage. You have five, 10 or 15 years of marketing experience behind you. Or you've headed one or more successful departments. You've reached the point where you can no longer say, "If I were boss...," because you are the boss.
Your decisions, policies, programs and recommendations are the ones to be carried out, and by now, you've also learned that although we live in a democratic society, there's nothing democratic about business. Only one person retains ultimate authority, sets the direction of the organization and makes the ultimate decisions.
Isn't it funny how it always appeared that the boss really had life easy, but rather than the utopia you imagined, you're now faced with a never-ending series of interrelationships. Your days are filled with talking, listening, e-mailing, telephoning, meeting, pleading, negotiating and compromising. On top of that, you are probably the first to arrive and the last to leave, and you have to worry about all departments instead of just one.
Your organizational chart clearly shows that your firm is hierarchical in nature, yet you spend most of your time dealing with people and departments over which you may or may not have direct authority. For example, marketing continually interacts with accounting, to ensure that customers are current; and with engineering, to solve customer problems. Yet these areas are the concern and responsibility of others.
Having the responsibility and getting the job done don't always mix. There must be a better way to manage your job. Your people expect you to be decisive, and you are ... somewhat. But all too often you feel as though your time was wasted and nothing was achieved. So, what's missing? To be an effective manager you must know yourself by examining your motivation for working and wanting to own or run a business. Unless you feel people can be enhanced, developed and "grown," you will undoubtedly be unhappy and unproductive, and more importantly, you will be counterproductive to those you manage. Personal attributes and beliefs affect your every action and can't be separated. While this is fundamentally true, there is not one particular style or set of characteristics that is guaranteed to produce a good manager of people.
The better you understand your own personality, character, goals and limitations, the less likely these aspects or traits will interfere with your management style and capabilities