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Developing a more open and collaborative culture

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Developing a more open and collaborative culture

Open and collaborative culture as being critical for managing the complexity of business today. The most important thing about culture is that it’s the only sustainable point of difference for any organisation. Anyone can copy your strategy, but nobody can copy your culture.

The most important thing about culture is that it’s the only sustainable point of difference for any organisation. Anyone can copy your strategy, but nobody can copy your culture.

The importance of culture is undeniable as highlighted in an IBM survey of more than 1600 CEO’s. Some 75 percent of CEO’s identified the importance of developing a more open and collaborative culture as being critical for managing the complexity of business today.

To build its next-generation workforce, organisations have to actively recruit and hire employees who excel at working in open, team-based environments. At the same time, leaders must build and support practices to help employees thrive, such as encouraging the development of unconventional teams, promoting experiential learning techniques and empowering the use of high-value employee networks.

This transparency means loosening some control – but many CEOs plan to correct for that with a renewed emphasis on company values. According to the report:

Openness puts a premium on corporate culture: As CEOs ratchet up the level of openness within their organisations, they are developing collaborative environments where employees are encouraged to speak up, exercise personal initiative, connect with fellow collaborators, and innovate. Equally important, CEOs recognize the need for organisational values and a clear sense of purpose to guide decisions and actions as some formal controls loosen.

The study indicates that those organisations that are becoming adept at change, able to access and use customer data and enable collaborative relationships with partners and employees outperform those that are lacking in these areas.

The importance of organisational alignment

Open and collaborative culture as being critical for managing the complexity of business today

The focus on the importance of “culture” was also referenced in the annual innovation survey by Booz & Company. They found “spending more on R&D won’t drive results. The most crucial factors are strategic alignment and a culture that supports innovation.”

The elements that make up a truly innovative company are many: a focused innovation strategy, a winning overall business strategy, deep customer insight, great talent, and the right set of capabilities to achieve successful execution. More important than any of the individual elements, however, is the role played by corporate culture – the organization’s self-sustaining patterns of behaving, feeling, thinking, and believing – in tying them all together. Yet according to the results of this year’s Global Innovation 1000 study, only about half of all companies say their corporate culture robustly supports their innovation strategy.

Creating the right organisational alignment is not something that happens overnight. If not already started – you better start today.

About the Author

Torben Rick is an experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement and development, change management and turn-around. He has international experience from management positions in Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.

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Torben Rick

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