Seven Areas Where Positive Culture Matters

Organisational culture is described as

"...the set of shared assumptions, values and beliefs that underpin how people do their work and relate to each other..."

Joel Barolsky 2019

i) productive politics (unproductive politics occurs in highly politicised organisations, where enormous amounts of resources including time, energy, money, etc can be wasted on power struggles and infighting between staff; much effort is wasted around issues like

"...who takes credit, who earns what, who owns which customer/client, who can and can't work for whom..."

Joel Barolsky 2019)

ii) collaboration (significant financial upside when staff work together to help clients/customers; it is about drawing together a diversity of knowledge and experience to add value; it is not about referral to another staff member)

iii) consistently high standards (successful organisations do not tolerate mediocrity and expect high standards of everyone, all the time)

iv) discretionary effort (organisations that are purpose-driven while being generally caring, trusting and fair tend to get the best out of their people. However

"...Toxic cultures often result in lower productivity, higher absenteeism and sub-standard output..."

Joel Barolsky 2019)

v) continuity (it builds deeper client understanding and fosters trusting and longer relationships with clients/customers.

"...positive firm culture facilitates retention and ensures continuity. A stable workforce also reduces the costs associated with staff churn..."

Joel Barolsky 2019)

vi) self-management (this includes a lean management structure, with each team being self-sufficient

"...Alignment around firm direction, trusted leadership and a strong culture provides the glue that binds the collective but at the same time encourages individual empowerment..."

Joel Barolsky 2019)

vii) accountability for action (need to do what they say they will do, ie walk the talk

"...Successful firms have the discipline to implement strategy and the fortitude overcome obstacles that might emerge...... to strive towards a cohesive, productive, healthy and disciplined culture..."

Joel Barolsky 2019



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