Peter Drucker famously told us that culture eats strategy for breakfast. And study after study tells us he’s on to something. Happy teams and a strong company culture mean higher performance across the board. Being named a Best Place to Work is associated with a .75% stock jump. A classic Harvard Business School study found that a performance-enhancing company culture correlates with 4x higher annual revenue growth. The list goes on.
We also know that leadership teams — the board, c-suite, investors, and managers -- set that tone. Company culture flows from the attitudes, priorities, and decisions of its leaders.
With the digital transformation of work and business culture firmly upon us, what role does software play in corporate culture? Is it just a tool with no role beyond its business function? Or is it so deeply part of how we do our work that it is embedded inside what it takes to build a high performance corporate culture?
We think smarter technology is essential to great corporate culture. Here’s why:
Agile Means Together, not Rogue.
Agile is a buzzword these days, but it’s often misunderstood. It does not mean people should go out on their own, acting fast and trying new things to see what happens. Agile work for a team actually requires a high level of coordination & commitment to a common cause. This requires an elegant balance of staying in touch and having enough room to breathe and get things done. Think Seal Team 6 or acrobats on a tightrope, not armies storming a castle’s front gates screaming with swords raised.
Software like Slack, Dropbox, and Google Suite are designed to keep teams on the same page, aligned on next steps, and moving together in rhythm. Cloud Concinnity® is tailored to empower leadership to set the team direction, like a Seal Team Leader or the Circus ringmaster, with extra care around enhanced communication to emphasize security, process automation to curb busywork, and outcome measurement to track progress.
Systems Empower Free Thinking, not Hamper it.
Creative thinkers often buck at the idea of systems, spreadsheets, and measurement — and that makes sense. When wrongfully applied, systems can feel like a cage when they are really an untying of the ropes. Better technology doesn’t add busywork or increase repetitive tasks: it automates them to make room for creative thinking.
When systems are running in the background, leaders can focus on what matters — strategy, performance and risk. Cloud Concinnity® does this by focusing on outcomes, automating the activities required to achieve them and providing a single secure hub for all necessary content, communications and intelligence.
Teams use Tools, not the Other Way Around.
When a team is small, staying on the same page is not hard. Four or five people talk enough to keep tabs on what each other is doing, and prompt each other to stay on task and aligned on things like timelines and quality. But once success and growth add people to the team, suddenly there are expectations, skill-levels, and understanding of the business are at all different levels. Tools need to evolve, change, and be added, and leadership styles need to change to keep up, as Julie Zhou points out in HBR.
This is exactly why we shifted from consulting with leadership teams to building software for them. We know that the better an organization is at using software, the better that software can perform — and we went a step further, building industry best practices into the DNA of ours. That way when you use the tool you are guaranteed to be working at a high level. We think that’s smart, and it makes companies smarter, too!
Great Team Dynamics Are Critical to Success, not Just “Nice to Have.”
Team dynamics are tough, whether it’s a team of two or a team of ten. In fact, data shows that 60% of new ventures fail due to problems with the team. It’s clear that growth depends on good team dynamics, and good team dynamics depends on all the gears of collaboration working together like a symphony.
Strong Technology Enables a Soft Touch, not Just to-do Lists.
We’re all busy and getting busier, with alerts and messages coming from all sides. And all too often when we do have some free time we use it to take on more tasks and get more done. At some point, it catches up to us. As HBR points out, managers and teams alike struggle with burnout.
The solutions? Things like gratitude, compassion, and modeling self-care. While many leaders will “pooh-pooh” this as too touchy-feely for the corporate world, everyone from Deloitte to Harvard is telling us that these soft skills are the secret to success.
Technology that keeps us connected around tasks can also keep us connected around the gratitude, compassion, and self-care ideas we need to support ourselves when we’re not working as well.