‘Culture’ is again a hot topic in the business world. Studies show it has significant effects on success and growth. Yet few smaller organizations focus on creating an effective culture.

Whether you consciously planned it or not, your organization has a culture. And when you try to do something new, you see the negative effects often. But the positive aspects of culture can help you succeed if you develop them.

When I do organizational assessments, a common result is a divergence between what executives say they have as a culture and what their practices actually are. Too often, basic practices and policies have simply been borrowed from other organizations but are wrong for this organization’s needs and goals.

Perhaps you never consciously tried to create a culture. Or the culture you originally developed is not what you now need. Or worse, the culture you thought you had created is not what you actually have. Aligning your culture, your policies, and your actual practices is critical for success. As you look forward, take a look at your existing culture and practices.
* Are they what you want?
* Are they what you expected?
* How do you know if your answers are truly correct?

Will the existing culture support your strategic and business plans? If not, what are you going to do? How?

More from a pioneer on the importance of culture: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgar_Schein