Now that these dimensions associated with driving business performance have been outlined, we can turn our attention to what is perhaps the most important area of special emphasis—performance culture—and the HR leader’s influence in building a performance culture. At the beginning of this chapter is a quote about culture eating strategy for breakfast, and confusion about what drives performance eating culture alive. We could debate for some time about who is really capable of eating whom. More importantly, there is an undeniable connection between business strategy, human capital strategy, business performance, and culture.
One dilemma I often encounter is that there is a great deal of misunderstanding about what culture is and about how one builds a culture to drive performance. People talk very excitedly about building a culture or changing the culture but have more difficulty describing what culture is or how it should be defined. Culture happens, whether or not we build, transform, or manage it. Culture is already there, like the air.
While there might be misunderstandings about culture, there is certainly no shortage of great books written on the topic or consulting firms ready to provide very able assistance in this important arena. Like many other topics where books and consultants are in evidence, however, complexity reigns supreme. Having studied the “culture thing” quite a bit,...