Too many leaders and management consultants try to take shortcuts when tasked with shaking up the culture of an organisation. Just by stating, “We want a higher profit margin”, they think that employees will jump to action and align their work with this broad and poorly conceived goal.

Focusing on results and goals is just one small part of the puzzle. You have to consider all the elements on the table – company experience, employee beliefs and ingrained practices – and then ensure that what you change is actually sustained.

To shape your culture and help your organisation win, you have to understand the results pyramid. There are three key components that make up the results pyramid: experiences, beliefs and actions. Stacked on top of each other, the components all contribute to the end result or the achievements of your organisation.

Too often, leaders focus on changing behaviour without addressing the root cause of performance: the beliefs that guide actions. This is the foundation of The Results Pyramid model, a simple, powerful way of understanding the connection between culture (the way people think and act) and the results that are achieved. Leaders use the model to create culture alignment and develop a flourishing, cohesive, collaborative team dedicated to achieving an organisation’s must-deliver results.

The process of creating a culture occurs on different scales and at different speeds for different companies. Think of assuming a new approach to your organisation’s culture as a transition and not as a transformation.

As with any major shake-up, it can take time before everybody is on the same page. Both employees and management may be uneasy in the face of radical change. Changing mind-sets and instincts is not an easy undertaking especially when these gut reactions and methods have been trusted for so long. Therefore, it becomes essential to provide frequent feedback to employees and offer on-going support and encouragement as they align to the changing culture.

In conclusion…

Culture really does matter. How an organisation does things makes the difference in the competitive world. The culture of the organisation is the most significant strategic variable that executive leaders need to manage effectively.