In our article ‘Does culture really eat strategy for breakfast‘, we explored the idea that culture is a critical driver of organisational performance. For example, we mentioned that companies where the staff are fully engaged with the culture outperform their competition by at least 20%.
‘Having the ability to measure, define and improve culture has never been so important’.
Over the past 20 or so years, we have worked with companies both small and large, both national and international and over this time we have noticed patterns and trends of the different elements of culture that helped drive performance. We also noticed clusters of cultural elements that were causing performance problems in even the best run companies.
We used this as a foundation to fully research and understand the different elements of culture that effect performance, and we used this to create the BQi culture survey.
BQi stands for the “Business Quotient Inventory”. Most people have heard of “IQ” – our Intelligence Quotient that looks at how academically intelligent we are and many people, especially in HR and OD roles, have heard of “EQ” – our Emotional Quotient that explores how Emotionally Intelligent we are.
BQ explores how “culturally intelligent” a business is by looking at the 9 different characteristics of culture that research has shown are critical for an organisation to manage if it is to be successful. The 9 characteristics are:
- Mission, vision and values – the foundations that underpin the spirit and culture of the business.
- Strategic goals and direction – the longer term plans for success and the approach the business takes to achieving its overall ambitions.
- Leadership – the manner in which the business is taken forward and the way people are motivated to perform
- Customers and competitor focus – the understanding of, and response to competitors, customers and market trends.
- Talent development – the pro-active and systematic recruitment, retention and development of the company’s people.
- Knowledge and decision making – the way that information and knowledge is shared and effective decisions are made.
- Teamwork and collaboration – how people work effectively together as teams to achieve shared, common goals.
- Consistency and predictability – the way the business sets expectations and delivers on promises.
- Change and continuous improvement – the attitude towards making improvements that help drive enhanced performance.
The BQi uses these 9 characteristics as the basis to explore both the current culture in the business and the level of cultural improvement needed. Giving a quantifiable measure of culture, the BQi enables companies to navigate the complexities of their culture and improve overall business performance.
The BQi also provides companies with a profile of the management and leadership competencies they need to address if the business is to deal effectively with the cultural dysfunctions and successfully capitalise on their cultural strengths.
If you have any questions about culture in organisations, or re interested is using the BQi, please contact us at either of our UK offices.