As inarguably important as ‘organisational culture’ is, an agreed definition and a ‘gold standard’ measurement practice is up for greater debate.
Clarity on the definition applied to “culture”, however, is critical to any meaningful claims made about a manager’s or executive’s degree of competence in fostering a healthy one.
Also to be considered, is that there are two different perspectives to bring to the “culture” discussion: Internal and external. While a healthy culture within the walls and operations of the organisation (“internal”) creates a better chance of a positive collective customer experience (“external”) and a correspondingly positive influence on general marketplace performance, both sides of the equation call for clear definition and demonstration.
Too Performance-Pivotal to be Dealt With Lightly
It’s an aspect of organisational and executive / managerial performance too pivotal to be dismissed in non-specific, non-substantiated, platitudinal terms.
So where does the discussion and the data fit in an executive’s or senior manager’s Curricula Vitae?
What is it that needs conveyed about the culture of the CV owner’s current company / employer?
What are the forms of measurement or substantiation of any claims made regarding that applicant’s role in the state of the culture in the company or department that individual currently leads?
Again, it starts with clarity:
- What degree of priority will the target (i.e. board, management, HR parties) place on determining the applicant’s competence and/or contribution to the creation of the organisational culture (whatever that may be) at the applicant’s current company / workplace?
- How deep into the complexity of the topic would the target’s hiring decisionmakers likely want to delve? Would they wish to see it covered in subjective terms like “structured vs flexible”, “internally vs externally driven” and “process vs focused”? Or by objective measurements e.g. employee engagement and company climate surveys, customer surveys and broader marketplace performance audits, business element scorecards and other forms of formal “pulse checks”?
- If the more subjective descriptors and discussion is opted for, how will claims be substantiated? If the objective, quantitative approach is opted for, how far – within the confines of a CV – does one go in demonstrating that these results have materially influenced the various aspects of company and marketplace performance?
Know the Target & Know Thyself
Knowing the target, and “knowing thyself” in relation to that, are equally important imperatives.
Both the CV owner and his or her CV writer must be as researched as possible about the relevant mindset, perspectives and priorities of the hiring parties and any other influential readers of the Curricula Vitae. With those insights to hand, the CV can be closely tailored to align the strengths of the executive or managerial candidate with the specific desires and expectations held by even the most intellectually sophisticated and discerning parties on the hiring side of the equation.