Getting Real About Creating a High-Performance Culture

Nearly half (46%) of the organizations in our study identified defining or aligning culture as a key priority, but, in many cases, there is insufficient attention paid to aligning culture with value creation.

Organizational culture is often defined as a set of shared assumptions about how to think, feel and act. Pragmatically speaking though, culture is the way work gets done. High performance cultures are marked by shared beliefs, decision making, and behaviors that align with operational and customer value creation.

Our research shows that the areas that matter most to creating a high-performance culture are:

  • Leadership and people – leaders’ behaviors set the tone for the beliefs, decisions and behaviors that are expected (and tolerated) of others
  • People programs – play two critical cultural roles developing talent through career and learning opportunities, and motivating talent through rewards systems
  • Enabling infrastructure – the policies, processes, structure and technology that enable people to do what needs to be done

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We would like to thank Don MacPherson, Ken Oehler, Ph.D. and Manasi Vartak for contributing their insights to this article.


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