Reference no: EM132183578
Learning Activity #1:
What happens when strategies and culture are not aligned? Give examples from your reading and Internet research.
When strategies and culture are not aligned companies may see lower production and profit margins, high turnover rates, and may suffer damage to the company's brand or public image (Deshler,2018).
Employees may develop a sense of apathy toward their work that may affect the company's production rates and quality control. And, when employees loose sense of the company mission or have differing goals they lose motivation and may look to find employment elsewhere. Damage to company image can happen in many ways.
The company may find that day-to-day business does not live up to customer expectations or there may be difficulty maintaining quality control. Or it could be a disgruntled employee that says something to the press about a policy or procedure that did not go their way. Public opinion is hard to maintain because of the increased use of social media and consumer awareness. Companies that have difficulty aligning their strategies and culture often find themselves making headlines in the nightly news.
What is the difference with an organization which is aligned and one which is not aligned. Give examples and be thorough in your answer citing references where needed.
An organization that is aligned has a sense of clarity and definition to the company's overall mission or goals that aids the decision-making process in all areas of the company (Deshler, 2018). This type of company will have a clearly defined organizational structure and division of labor that promotes good communication and overall efficiency (Saylor, 2014).
Employees often feel a sense of belonging and/or a sense of accomplishment and inspiration as they work toward reaching common goal (Deshler, 2018). This inspiration can lead to improvements in company policies and procedures or to new innovations and help the company maintain its competitiveness in the marketplace.
An organization that is not aligned may see a lack of communication within the company, the decision-making process takes too long and opportunities in the industry may be poorly executed or completely missed, and responsibilities are not clearly defined which can result in a lack of accountability. (Khadem&Khadem, 2017).
Employees in this type of organization may lose direction and default toward self-serving behaviors that promote their own needs above the better good of the company (Deshler, 2018). A company that does not align their company strategies and culture will suffer internally and struggle within their industry.
Deshler, R. (2017, November 7). The dangers of a misalignment between culture and strategy.
Learning activity 2
Microsoft is a good example of strategy and culture not aligning. As a technology company, they need to be constantly innovating and developing new software and programs to remain competitive and relevant within their market. A culture of innovation does not directly come from the CEO, instead it is fostered by leaders from every level of employees within a company and encouraging a blame free culture that gives people confidence to enable change (Solomon, 2018).
Microsoft ultimately destroyed a creative culture by creating mandatory rating system that required at least ten percent of employees to receive negative ratings and which resulted in people not working together because they did not want the other person to achieve a higher rating from their teamwork (Mims, 2013). This is a direct counter to encouraging your employees to brainstorm and develop new ideas and processes that will lead to positive future improvements.
A company that demonstrates building a strong culture that aligns directly with its strategy is Starbucks. For their strategy, a statement on the company's homepage reads: "It's not unusual to see people coming to Starbucks to chat, meet up or even work. We're a neighborhood gathering place, a part of the daily routine - and we couldn't be happier about it. Get to know us and you'll see: we are so much more than what we brew" (Company Information).
Everyone knows that Starbucks is a place a person can get an overpriced cup of coffee, but the company has made it a priority to be an actual social part of the local community.
This was not achieved by strictly laying down a store design and business plan to become this, it also required the company instilling this culture within its employees. The company started to create this culture by taking care of its people and creating a link between employees and the company, viewing them as members of the team rather then tools to increase profits (Leinwand& Davidson, 2016).
They even have offered scholarships, retirement benefits, and created an inclusion focused environment by offering same "same sex and domestic partner benefits since the company went public in 1992" (Our Culture of Inclusion, n.d.). This culture is what lead to the company applying its strategy of being more then just a place to grab a coffee. Starbucks employees ultimately feel as though the are part of the company and are willing to go above and beyond in their work because they want to benefit the company as a whole, not just receive a paycheck (Craig, 2018).
Craig, W. (2018, May 29). What Happens When You Align Culture With Strategy.