Culture vs. Process (in an organization)

I got the idea for this series from recent experiences at work, though I started the series discussing culture vs. process at home. My personal shift in my organization has been to build a culture of excellence that is supported by good processes. My error at times has been to rely on processes to build good work, when it takes the weight of a shared positive culture to take a team over the top.

However, more so than in a home, a negative culture (criticism, negative attitudes, “sliding by” with minimal effort) can develop very quickly in an organization. So while I emphasized building a positive culture in the home, I want to emphasize building effective processes into an organization.

A couple of areas to target with effective processes:

Communication: make it a regular planned occurrence to communicate regarding important information, successes, problems, and standing meetings or standard expectations. If information isn’t coming from the source, it will come from elsewhere. Use meeting times, phone, email, and unplanned face-to-face time to communicate early and often.

Expectations: where are you now? Where should you be? How can you get to where you should be? All of these questions should be asked in the context of your organization, and the answers should not be a mystery to anyone. Everyone deserves to know where they stand. This should be built into the culture through a process.

Decision-making- It can be frustrating not knowing how decisions are made or what the “chain of command” is. A clear process for making requests and receiving answers is necessary.

I’m no organizational guru, but these are some broad areas in which good processes help build positive culture in an organization. Maybe you have some? Leave a comment.

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