types of organizational culture

3 Types of Organizational Culture (Plus 1 to Avoid)

Jul 31, 2017

For business owners, decision makers, and stakeholders in any company there has never been a more important time to focus on culture. Recognized as a key to retaining top talent, solidifying your brand, and presenting a positive image to the market, culture has the power to make or break your company.

Linking your culture to your brand may seem a little risky, but it is important. Without a strategy to create and build on culture in connection to your goals you may find that your efforts go nowhere.

There are different types of organizational culture. Most of them can help your business thrive, with a few exceptions.

Wondering which culture fits your business best? Here are the 3 top types, and one to avoid:

1. Make It A Mission

For some organizations, the health of the business comes second to an overall cause. Of course, this can be intimidating to some business leaders who see their bottom line at risk.

But giving your organization a larger mission or cause can work to motivate the entire company. Experts say that after approximately $75,000 employees value culture over money.

What better way to make employees feel valued than to give them an important mission to accomplish every day?

2. Baseball Team Culture

One of the most employee-centric types of organizational culture is a baseball team or team approach. In these organizations, the customer comes second to the overall health of the team.

In addition, roles are clearly defined as with baseball. But in a baseball team keeping the players happy is paramount– so long as they perform.

Rather than work around the needs of the client, these organizations work to keep their employees happy. They know that happy employees mean innovation and happy clients in the long run.

3. The Customer Always Wins

Rather than an employee focus, or a mission focus, there are organizations whose sole preoccupation is with the customer. The customer is always right in these organizations.

And while these types of organizational culture models are effective for creating client loyalty, they aren’t always the best fit for everyone. For cutting edge companies that are trying to stay ahead of the trends this culture may not work.

The simple reason is that many innovators believe that customers don’t know what they want yet. Their job is to make it happen.

But in today’s social media and live video culture, many companies could benefit from a more customer-focused philosophy. In the digital age, customers who win reward businesses again and again.

Avoid These Types Of Organizational Culture

The cover your ass or the finger pointing culture can be one of the worst things to happen to your company. When employees are only motivated by avoiding the negative they are discouraged from implementing process improvement.

In addition, it’s nearly impossible to foster an entrepreneurial spirit in this atmosphere. This is the company where no one wants to stick their neck out– in case it gets chopped off!

Unfortunately, each of these cultures needs to be managed and fostered. They are not a stagnant thing.

I can help you create and maintain a culture that works for you! Contact me today for more information on my services and how they can spell success for your business.

technology skills

Become a Better Leader With These 5 Technology Skills

Jul 18, 2017

Being a leader is more than telling others what to do. 

Often, it involves showing the way and leading by example. When you have key soft skills and technical proficiency, it will be far easier to be a great leader in your organization.

Managing data was at the top of Time’s list of vital career skills. Technology cannot be overlooked, no matter what industry you work in. Here are five technology skills that will make you a better leader.

Using Virtual Communication Tools

More and more full-time employees are working from home, and companies frequently use independent contractors as advances in technology make staying in touch simple. If you can manage a virtual team using key software, you will have a skill that is in exceptionally high demand.

Communicating remotely isn’t easy. Body language is a major part of how people send and receive information, as is tone of voice. Many people say that only 7% of communication is about the actual words spoken.

As a leader, you can use a variety of tools to overcome communication barriers. You can use video conferencing to bring a lot of non-verbal communication back to remote teams. There are also a variety of project management and collaboration tools available.

Managing remote teams effectively is a key technology skill for today’s leaders.

Familiarity with Your Company’s Tech

Whether you work for a technology company or a manufacturer, all organizations use technology. As an effective leader, you need to be aware of the details of how the technology that’s important to your business works.

Obviously, this doesn’t mean that you have to be able to build the company’s tech from scratch, but if you have little to no idea how it works, you won’t be a successful leader. Every day your employees have to use the technology to succeed or create the tech you sell.

If you are not able to skillfully use, understand, and teach others about your company’s technology, you will be limited in how far you can go as a leader. Technology skills are not declining, they are instead becoming more complex, and you can be on the leading edge.

Understanding Data Analysis

As a leader, you need to be aware of the data your company generates and how to use it to its full potential. In today’s computerized and internet-connected world, every organization produces a wealth of customer data that can be mined for insight.

Data science is an essential business tool for leaders, not just the analysts who create reports. Analytics is about both technical skills and thinking skills. You should know how to separate good data from bad data, understand how assumptions affect your understanding, and more.

When you can stand up and give a presentation based on data you truly understand, you’ll bring additional insight into the situation. You can give excellent recommendations that are not based on faulty assumptions or an incomplete picture of a situation.

As a leader, you also make important choices about which problems in the business should be investigated and solved. When you understand the data available and the impact that each concern is having on your bottom line, you will be far better able to make these decisions.

Process Analysis and Improvement

No matter what industry you work in, processes govern workflow and production.

Understanding these processes is vital for any leader, but you can take things a step further. Become a better leader by developing skills in process analysis and improvement.

Understanding a process requires you to use technology skills, analysis, critical thinking, and more. You will need to be able to map the flow of work and detect slowdowns. You will need to understand how much a process change will cost and how much money it will save.

Perhaps most importantly, process improvements require change management. This requires the use of both technology and people skills to help your staff understand and adapt to change. There are many ways to encourage buy-in, and an excellent leader will have the skills required to help with the transition.

Data Security

Understanding and managing the security of data is a task that should concern every leader. From customer data protection to proprietary company information, data is a key asset in all businesses.

You may think that data security is a concern for IT, rather than for leaders like you. That’s far from the case. 80% of companies say that “end user carelessness” is the biggest security threat to their organizations.

As a leader, you can have a lot of influence on how well you and your team use security processes. When you fully understand the importance and process of data security, you can become an advocate for data safety. This technology skill helps you become a significant asset to your organization.

The Need for Technology Skills Is Increasing

As the “internet of things,” the cloud, and other technological aspects of business grow, the need for technology skills will increase as well. As a leader, you have an obligation to your organization to learn all you can to support your company.

When you gain these key skills, you will be able to lead not just from authority but by example. Your understanding of key technology will help your employees build respect for you. It will also contribute to higher level leaders seeing you as an asset to the company.

No one can become indispensable, but the fastest way to become replaceable is to stop learning and developing your skills. Instead, take the time to study how you can support remote teams. Learn the ins and outs of your company’s technology. Learn how to analyze data and keep it secure. Work on process improvements and change management.

When you master technology skills along with the usual soft skills of leadership, such as communication, you will be head and shoulders above many other leaders. You’ll stand out, and will have many opportunities to advance your career!

If you’re interested in learning more about how to be a great leader, subscribe to our blog today!


How to Know If Your Start-up Needs a Co-Founder

Jul 17, 2017

Finding success as an entrepreneur can be hard, but it’s not impossible. With the right connections and enough hard work, success can be achieved.

However, if you’re looking to ease the process a bit, consider a co-founder. A business with two founders is more likely to be successful. Having a business partner can help relax some of the start-up woes.

Before selecting a partner, you’ll want to ensure that you are choosing wisely.

Picking a business partner isn’t a decision to take lightly. Read on to learn about the benefits of a co-founder and how to pick one.

Benefits of a Co-founder

There are a number of benefits to having a business partner. Let’s discuss a few of them.

1. It becomes a team effort.

Managing the early stages of a company can be difficult. From paperwork to networking, there are an endless amount of tasks.

With a partner, you can split the workload. This makes the process much more manageable. A partnership also keeps both parties accountable.

At the same time, you both bring different experiences and knowledge to the table. When it comes to delegating tasks, it’s much easier if one of the founders has more experience than the other.

2. More networking opportunities.

Having connections as a start-up is a must.

As time passes, you’ll have new questions and face new challenges. On your own, you only have your network to consult.

With a business partner, there is another network to tap into. Having two communities for support can make all the difference.

3. One on one support.

Building a business requires plenty of outside support.

With a business partner, you’ll get more personalized help. You’ll receive the benefit of having someone who is on the journey with you.

Ideally, your co-founder will be there to support you and to guide business decisions.

What to Look for in a Business Partner

Once you’ve decided to seek a business partner, don’t take the decision lightly. Your choice can make or break your startup.

When selecting a partner, keep this information in mind:

Your business partner should fill in gaps.

Take a look at your background. What experience or knowledge are you missing? The co-founder you choose should provide what you are lacking.

Maybe you have an MBA, but have no technical knowledge. Your business partner will need to bring technical experience to the table.

Think with the future in mind.

As an entrepreneur, making business decisions is vital. Every decision you make should consider the future. The business partner you choose should be one that makes sense in the long run.

Do your personalities mesh? Do you trust this person? Can you envision long-term business with him/her?

Answer these questions before making your decision.

Business 101 from an Experienced Professional

Are you looking to learn about entrepreneurship? Want to add to your business knowledge? If so, check out Rafferty Pendery.

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Contact us today for the business information you need.