What type of organizational culture do you have?

The business environment is evolving faster than before. No business is exempt from the impact of constant change and increase in competition. While it may be easy to point outside of your organization to find reasons for missing your mark, one overlooked area is understanding your own organizational culture.

What is organizational culture? It is an attitude or way of doing things to achieve business results. Why does this matter? Your organizational culture will determine how you approach a challenge or develop a solution. It will also provide insight into whether or not your strategy and goal can be executed by the organization. It should be a benchmark that you reference to make decisions and determine capability.  The organizational culture is essential as it is what is bred by leaders and reinforced by policy. According to Robert E. Quinn and Kim S. Cameron’s Competing Values Framework there are four types of organizational cultures.

  1. Family-like Culture. The Family-like Culture is sometimes also called Clan Culture and is about building meaningful relationships, embracing collaboration, and constructing the future together. Think of the expression, “we’re all in this together.” The Family-like Culture supports leaders that are team builders and mentors who are seeking to strengthen relationships and develop skill sets to create bottom-line success. 
  2. Market Culture. This is the achiever or results-oriented culture. In comparison to the team-oriented Clan Culture, Market Culture is all about competition and achieving goals. Leaders in Market Cultures are producers, and they get things done.  The main priority of a Market Culture is market dominance and financial performance. Think of the expression, “if you’re not first, you’re last.” 
  3. Hierarchical Culture. This is the take it slow and play it safe culture, think policies, rules, and regulations. It may not be a surprise in a Hierarchy Culture to hear, “this is how we have always done things here.” As often they can be risk-averse. The primary goal of the Hierarchy Culture is to maintain sustainable long-term growth. The Hierarchy Culture leaders act as coordinators and organizers, that support the long-term vision. 
  4. Adhocracy Culture. This is the Dreamer culture. Think of organizations like Google and Apple. This culture encourages risk-taking to create new products, offerings, and ideas. The types of leaders that thrive in this organization are entrepreneurial in nature, often visionaries. The goal of this organization is to create. Whether it’s enhancing a product or developing a new offering, their definition of success is determined by their ability to innovate.

What culture does your organization fit in? There is no right or wrong culture, and oftentimes it’s a hybrid of many cultures. The cultures can be competing not only at an organizational level but also at a team level. The important thing to remember is always to match your strategy with your organizational culture to determine whether you can execute.