Can you “fix” the company culture?

A lot of senior leaders are concerned about whether they have the culture to support achieving their company targets. I discuss leadership culture much more often than before with company CEO’s which is great. I thought it was pretty refreshing to read the HBR article on “You can’t fix the company culture” published in the April magazine by Jay W. Lorsch and Emily McTague. The bottom line of the article is, that by just focusing on your business, the rest will follow. I do agree with this in a sense, that sometimes, not enough discussion is held around the business model and the new processes and structures that need to be in place to tackle the business challenges. The conversation turns to the culture and the lack of it pretty easily before there is clarity around those” hard” topics.  However, having clarity on those hard topics makes it is so much easier to have a dialogue about what are the values and  behaviours needed to implement the strategy. Ultimately the values in action form the company culture. What was not covered in the article, is the importance to be explicit about the culture you want to create and being as down to earth as possible. Personally, I think that is really important. Don’t just count on the fact that people will know what is expected of them on a behavioural level. I meet with many organizations who have really nice statements about their desired culture. However, many of them are not concrete enough and remain pretty  distant to people’s daily work.