Why Can’t Management Get it Right?
How Leaders Ruin Workplace Culture
Whether our work place feels good or not, it is our leaders’ FAULT!
A corporate culture (workplace culture) or work environment is the frame-work that all the mental, physical actions and behaviors that are applied in an organization are based on. It’s the “EKO-System” (workplace culture) of your organization. In an ecosystem in nature, a lack of any factors such as enough water, causes the plants and animals to begin to perish. Likewise, if there is too much sunlight, the plants and animals again begin to succumb. If too many of one species and not enough of the counterbalancing species, then again, things are not smooth and operation of the natural ecosystem drifts out of balance.
How Leaders Ruin Workplace Culture
Both unfortunately and fortunately for us, our organizations’ operations are no different than ecosystems in nature. Every organization, like every natural ecosystem, has a frame-work and web of connectivity that dictates what can and will happen, when it happens, as well as how and what the results will be. What happens in an organizational or workplace environment or workplace culture is not accidental. Every activity and action that takes place in the work environment has its genesis and is predicted in the structure and content of the organization’s “EKO-System”. What happens in our work environments or workplace culture are the results of how the workplace “EKO-System” is structured, the content that is accepted, as well as the enforced as operational norms. At the Team-builder Leadership Institute we call “workplace culture” and the methodology of designing and perfecting it, our “Organizational EKO-System”. Like the ecosystems in nature there are many moving parts; fortunately for us, not nearly as many as in a natural habitat and they are much easier to control. Our organizational EKO-System consist of Macro and micro-factors.[i] These components allow us to ensure that an organization’s workplace culture can be designed and maintained as a framework and focused on the efficiency that produces our specific desired results.
One of the challenges we face is that in general, people managing organizations have a tendency to go for the “Quick Fix”. However, like a doctor who treats the stomach ache and not the parasite causing it, in essence, treating the symptoms instead of the root cause; the “quick fix” always fails in the long run as it wasn’t designed to actually remove the problem but rather to provide a temporary result. To adjust the course of the organization steering it to its maximum possible performance with the resources you have available, requires a framework that constructs and supports the “Organizational EKO-System” or workplace culture, so it is specifically designed and maintained to produce the exact results we seek.Highly profitable and successful organizations are not lucky; they are result of specific efforts to create the necessary framework and operational standards that create and support the exact EKO-System that produces the desired and required results for the organization.
Many organizations have leadership teams that have tried to use the “Flavor-of-the-month” solutions like Total Quality Management (TQM), Lean Six Sigma, or specific training and consulting programs aimed at single systems and symptoms in their workplace culture. These efforts often have a positive effect on the situation and organization initially but do not provide the result that was being pursued-the core problem. Quite frequently, the findings at the conclusion of the program or effort are that the organization has the same problem(s) that prompted the efforts in the first place. In some cases, it is discovered that the workplace culture “flavor-of-the-month, quick-fix” actually created new problems. Usually however, at least the employees that were involved with the program have added some new skills but it rarely, if ever, changes the bottom line results. Too many quick fixes is often how leaders ruin workplace culture!
When managers “Manage-in-silos[ii]” and organizational departments operate in a vacuum; the frame-work of the organization is either totally out of alignment or in the case of a department operating autonomously, you will have completely different (often competing) operational EKO-Systems. The different parts will not feel like they are part of a whole but rather separate and entirely unrelated groups.
Organizations where the micro-factors and systems that make up their EKO-System or workplace culture are not aligned have recurring issues that inhibit operational effectiveness and experience profit loss on a daily basis. A familiar term to most of us that management teams often use to camouflage and conveniently explain away those losses is “The Cost of Doing Business”. These so called, “Cost of Doing Business” expenses ARE optional for an organization and can be eliminated with the properly designed, constructed and maintained “Organizational EKO-System”. When they are designed out, revenue goes into the organization’s coffers instead of to “cost of doing business” expenses such as: attorneys, fines, judgments, wasted resources, turnover, lack of productivity, exorbitant medical costs, to cover the results of apathy, etc.
The good news is that there are only 5 macro-factors, 22 micro-factors and 18 systems in an organizational EKO-System. This allows the leadership of any organizations to examine and assess their workplace culture piece by piece to find any and every inconsistency that is negatively impacting the operations and results the organization is experiencing! Its power is that allows the identified deficiencies to be addressed and corrected with pin-point accuracy! When the macro and micro-factors and the systems are optimally aligned so there are no performance inhibitors or productivity barriers in the workplace culture, all operational actions produce the most efficient possible results! The result for the organization and staff is that the sky is the limit for potential and possibilities! We don’t treat pneumonia with a couple of aspirin because it doesn’t cure the problem. “Quick fixes can hide the symptoms and alter the results temporarily but in the long term they fail! For an organizational illness, like an antibiotic does for a biological illness, we must treat the systems and the root illness so we maximize the organization’s performance!
At the Team-builder Leadership Institute, all of our programs create an operational standard that adjusts the EKO-System so all parts of the organization are aligned positively and create harmony, high performance, cohesion and commitment! Perfection is a result of design- not an accident. Perfection happens not when you have added every rule, system, program or process you can find but rather when you have taken everything away and are left with just the macro-factors, micro-factors and systems that must exist to create the exact results you are after! Let the Team-builder Leadership Institute help you create your organizational EKO-System through our leadership development and certification programs! Design your future!
[i] Micro-factor: Individual environmental conditions that act on the other conditions present in the environment and with the adjustment of each create an entirely different dynamic throughout out the environment.
[ii] Make decisions based on their individual desires not considering the needs of the organization and its goals.