Is it Climate or Culture?

The corporate climate is generally defined as the personality of an organization. Like all personalities they have moods. Shared employee behavior is impacted by the attitudes and beliefs regarding the organization’s pursuits and practices. This has a direct impact on the quality and quantity of services employees provide and how successful those outcomes are. Employee satisfaction, successful program implementation, as well as stress all, may be associated with the current climate. 

We find that in many organizations, whether it be interdepartmental, cross-functional partners or the like, the climate is attributed to leadership. The climate is most impacted by leadership communication. Creating trust in communication and value in operations with key people in higher leadership roles, peers, direct reports and support staff are trademarks of success. Communication may encompass, openness, clarity, support, control, appropriate communication style and whether the management is participative or not. 

Corporate culture is comprised of the values, behaviors, history, and standards of the organization. These commonalities are shared by all. However, we often find these elements are subjective to the individuals’ interpretation.

Recently, one of our larger clients had been experiencing operational challenges between their sales and medical departments. Their respective staff was proficient, professional and effective. This made this more of a challenge. We were engaged by senior leadership to independently identify issues by studying each department’s mission, goals, structures and most importantly the desired outcomes of each department and their willingness to take action. As we engaged key thought leaders, individual interpretation of culture and the climate of their respective departments became clearer. This information became the basis for a series of interviews and surveys. We discovered that the issues were not localized but systemic across both groups. This was due to communication. Specifically, adaptation, interpretation and communication styles. The solution was to pull both teams together and start working on an adaptation and communication project to align the changing and complex environments through individual learning, business acumen, and knowledge management. This joint project resulted in the successful transformation of organizational norms and values. This transformation has enabled more, efficient, harmonious and profitable outcomes. 

A change in the climate, not unlike a change in the seasons requires an adjustment period. A change in culture may just be individual interpretation and most importantly stakeholder commitment requires cultivation. We welcome the opportunity to work with you and your team.

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