The Internal Culture


In my last posting I defined the Stable Culture – one made up of a tremendous amount of Mission and Consistency. Certainly we want our financial institutions to fit this mold and other companies (or departments) we trust with routine or exacting processes.

In this post I will define the Internal Culture. This is a culture that impacts quality, employee satisfaction and Return on Investment. The Internal Culture focuses upon Consistency and Involvement as the primary pillars from Denison’s four-pillar analysis.

As I pointed out in the last post, a culture with Consistency spends time defining core values, works to reach agreement and manages coordination and integration very well. They “do the right thing” and “practice what they preach”. Consistent cultures work hard to help people reach consensus and promote positive discussion of all issues. They also work hard to foster alignment of goals across functional areas of the business.

They strive to define and practice their values, discuss and reach consensus, then integrate the issues cross-functionally with a high degree of communication and contact.

Cultures that focus on Involvement:
Empower People
• Decisions are made at the lowest possible level
• Create an environment where everyone feels his/her efforts can make a difference
• Encourage people to take responsibility
Build Team Orientation
• Build effective teams that get the job done
• Designs work so it can be done by a team
• Acknowledges and celebrates team accomplishments
Develop Organizational Capability
• Coaches others in skill development
• Is sensitive to diversity issues
• Develops people so they can be promoted – the organization always has great “bench strength”.

Too often companies who are seeking to improve quality only focus on the processes (Consistency). They forget their people and simply create more rules and policies. If you as a leader truly believe a department or company lacks quality go to your people for the answer. Building Involvement along with Consistency will bring you the change you are seeking. Toyota and Honda are two examples of this. They have tremendously successful methods, and they also have been tremendously successful at people development, empowerment and using rewards and recognition to motivate people. Polices and consistent methods are important, but a committed, involved workforce is absolutely key to helping a company or department with pursuing quality and improving ROI.

What about your business? Do you see the need for more Internal focus? Tell us your story.


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Trust is the winsome wedding of faith and hope.

Brennan Manning

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