Organisations these days receive a great deal of commentary about their organisational culture. Much of it uninvited and unwanted.
It seems culture receives much of the blame for organisational failure, internal fraud or injury to people.
Good news stories also exist about organisations success that is founded by their culture and values. Indeed, many great company’s attribute much of their success to culture and values.
Clearly, culture matters.
Organisational culture can be defined as: the shared norms and expectations that govern the way people approach their work and interact with each other.
Yes, it can be measured. Insightful tools exist that make the ethereal concept of culture more tangible.
At Kennards Self Storage, we have been measuring culture since 1998 – every year! We genuinely believe it matters.
Our belief that culture is important to our enduring success is rooted in the fact that we are also a Family Business.
As a multi-generation Family Business the Kennard family beliefs and values are threaded through-out the organisation.
The challenges of Family Business are also unique and make a difference to how a culture is affected in generation transfer.
Strong entrepreneurial patriarchs often handover to a descendant with their own unique leadership style. Incumbent managerial (non-family) leadership may have professionally succeeded under the founder, but the new family leader will provide challenges for all. They were employed and promoted by the Founder.
Further, the Founder is likely to have many decades of business and entrepreneurial success to base his views on.
The successors will have their own management style, which may impact the leadership chemistry, and subsequently the organisations culture. My own succession to Managing Director in Kennards Self Storage wasn’t without disruption. After review, including measurement of our culture, we settled and moved forward.
My observation is that Family Business takes employee engagement and culture and values more seriously than typical business. Family Business are authentic and genuine about culture. Values are openly discussed and strong effort is put toward making sure business values are consistent with family values.
Family Business have a clear direction to build, grow and retain the business for generations. An engaged, committed and open culture is important to long term sustainability of a business.
2012 Kennards Self Storage Cuture Survey Result:
Author: Sam Kennard, Managing Director, Kennards Self Storage