LSA Global Insights Newsletter: The 3 Levels of a High Performance Culture

March 27, 2017

The 3 Levels of a High Performance Culture

3 steps in a plant's growth with light and water to money showing a high performing culture

We define corporate culture as the way work truly gets done in an organization on a day-to-day basis.

Think of culture as the collective attitude, assumptions, purpose and behaviors of a company's workforce. Your workplace culture answers the fundamental question of "how?" It exists in every company whether by design or by default.

Does Culture Matter?
Yes. Here is why... 

Research by Harvard established that an effective culture can account for up to half of the differential in performance between organizations in the same business. As Peter Drucker famously said, "Culture eats strategy for breakfast." And the global consulting firm Watson Wyatt found culturally aligned organizations return as much as 286% more value to stakeholders.

Our own organizational alignment research at 410 companies across eight industries found cultural factors account for 40% of the difference between high and low performing companies in terms of growth, profitability, customer satisfaction, customer retention, leadership effectiveness and employee engagement. Indeed, culture matters.  

The Link between Culture and Strategy
In general, strategy must go through culture to get results. 

We define business strategy as the clear and compelling choices about where the company competes and what critical few actions it takes to succeed. A successful strategy allows a company to perform beyond the sum of its parts. It answers the fundamental strategic questions of "why, what, where and who." First, consider strategy as the big problem you are solving or the big question you are answering. Then decide how to ruthlessly prioritize your time, money, people and energy to make it happen.

The Three "C's" of a High Performance Culture
Based upon over 25 years of research and experience, we have identified three critical and interrelated components required to create a workplace culture that matters: 
  1. Little-C: Organizational Health
  2. Middle-C: Performance Environment
  3. Big-C: Strategic Alignment
While each is essential, each must be assessed and shaped very differently if you, and your leaders, want to create a high performance culture.

About LSA Global
Founded in 1995, LSA Global is a leading performance consulting and training firm that helps high growth technology, services, and life-science companies create a competitive advantage by powerfully aligning their culture and talent with their strategy. Learn more about getting aligned