It seems that news of companies having problems is becoming routine. From the data breaches at Facebook and other tech companies to Boeing’s problems with their 737 Max airplane to the latest scandal with Purdue Pharma and oxycontin, it seems like the corporate world can’t consistently operate effectively.
It makes you wonder if there really is any difference between all of these large corporations.
The simple answer is yes. Every large organization – whether a Fortune 500 conglomerate or a nonprofit – has a specific culture.
As William Craig noted in Forbes, “organizational culture has to do with the behavior of humans within an organization and the meaning that people attach to those behaviors” (2014). More recently, Sandra Lim provided a detailed definition: “Corporate culture refers to the beliefs and behaviors that determine how a company’s employees and management interact and handle outside business transactions. Often, corporate culture is implied, not expressly defined, and develops organically over time from the cumulative traits of the people the company hires. A company’s culture will be reflected in its dress code, business hours, office setup, employee benefits, turnover, hiring decisions, treatment of clients, client satisfaction, and every other aspect of operations” (2019).
Although this provides a more comprehensive definition, I must admit that I still like the way a speaker at an industrial/organizational conference put it: corporate culture is how members of the company act when no one is watching. So, if a company’s culture is often implied, yet it is reflected in seemingly everything within the company (Lim, 2019), how can the desired culture be established – and sustained?
A recent article in Harvard Business Review provides key insights with researchers asserting how an organization “promotes people” can make or break their culture (Rohman, J., Onyeagoro, C, and Bush, M.; 2019). Broadly speaking, they outline how a company identifies and determines their leaders is essential for the success of the organization’s culture. They note that companies with the most positive – and sustained – culture incorporate:
- clear requirements for each leadership position,
- the encouragement of employees to seek out promotions, and
- feedback to candidates who were not selected.
A key component of this approach is the incorporation of a structured leadership assessment process.
Leadership Assessment and Culture
Many organizations utilize some type of assessment with their leadership candidates, whether internal or external candidates. But not all leadership assessments are created equal. Most search and/or consulting firms that offer assessments only examine the job and its requirements prior to assessing various candidates. Any consideration of the company and its situation in its industry is an afterthought.
Overall, these assessments ignore a company’s culture. This often leads to new leaders who leave the organization within two-to-three years.
And then the process must begin again.
Comprehensive Leadership Assessment
For over 15 years, E.A.S.I-Consult® has taken a different approach. Our leadership assessment process – known as the EA•Q™ process – begins with a study of the job, company and industry. This results in a Success Profile. The assessment then identifies the person who best matches the Success Profile for the particular position, in the specific organization, and the industry.
E.A.S.I-Consult’s EA•Q Process
Building and Sustaining a Positive Culture
As noted by the Harvard researchers (Rohman, J., Onyeagoro, C, and Bush, M.; 2019), a positive company culture requires that leaders are systematically empowered at every level. And, without the “best person” in each leadership role, the culture can quickly deteriorate within any group or department of a company.
Only by ensuring that every leader possesses the specific capabilities – and is empowered and committed to success – will an organization’s culture allow the company to thrive in today’s ever-changing environment.
Joseph Gier, Ph.D. is Vice President – Consulting Services at E.A.S.I-Consult® and is a licensed Psychologist. E.A.S.I-Consult works with Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and mid-sized corporations to provide customized Talent Management solutions. E.A.S.I-Consult specialties include leadership and leadership potential assessment, online employment assessment including aptitude testing, competency modeling, leadership development, executive coaching, 360-degree feedback, online structured interviews, survey research, and EEO hiring compliance. The company is a leader in the field of providing accurate information about people through professional assessment. To learn more about E.A.S.I-Consult, visit www.easiconsult.com, email ContactUs@easiconsult.com or call 800.922.EASI.