There are different types of corporate or organisational culture. They each contribute to the success of the business in distinct ways:
A culture of excellence is an organisational way of thinking and commitment to go beyond the ordinary. It is “an environment where people are called upon to contribute to each other and to the success of the organization” - Effective Environments.
In a culture of excellence, there has to be trust between employees, their colleagues, their leaders, and the organisation—an environment of collaboration, not competition. People who trust each other and as a result give their best, exceeding expectations and driving business results.
A culture of excellence is an organisational way of thinking and commitment to go beyond the ordinary. It is “an environment where people are called upon to contribute to each other and to the success of the organization” - Effective Environments
A culture of innovation nurtures out-of-the-box thinking and application and empowers everyone in the organisation to contribute their thoughts and ideas. Employees cannot do this unless there is trust. Being micromanaged or blamed for failures indicates a lack of trust, and hinders innovation. When innovation and risk-taking are embraced, people give their best.
With trust embedded in the culture, employees are emotionally safe and independent enough to own their innovative thinking and pursue ideas that challenge the status quo.
“Innovation cultures are prized by organizations that compete in markets defined by rapid change; maintaining the status quo is insufficient to compete effectively, thus making an innovation culture essential for success.” says Search CIO, a Tech Target publication
A culture of learning and growth enables a versatile and agile staff who is able to meaningfully play a part even as a company evolves. Knowing they are trusted allows them to be confident in acquiring new skills, adjust to new roles and expectations to meet the organisation’s needs.
They adopt a growth mindset, take ownership of their development, and continually seek to add value. They are constantly on the lookout for new opportunities, new ways to solve problems and take the business to new heights.
At the foundation of every business culture is the element of trust.
Trust is the key to a culture that promotes success, whether an organisation is striving for excellence, innovation, or growth.
Trust is the foundation of all cultures
A breakdown in trust can be damaging to relationships and the organisation. When there is a lack of trust at senior leadership levels, this has far-reaching repercussions. Dysfunctional teams, toxic culture, political environment can put the organisation at risk of losing talent, reducing productivity, eroding profits and its eventual demise.
When there is a lack of trust, people:
In the 2016 report The Business Case for a High Trust Culture, Great Place to Work® shares findings on the relationship between a high-trust culture and a company’s overall success. Trust is linked to higher levels of performance, employee retention, employee engagement, innovation, organisational agility, and successful leadership.
“Strategy-minded leaders, who care deeply about the financial well-being of their business, should make building a high-trust culture a top priority” - Great Place to Work®
Great companies have a Culture of Trust as foundation. Here are two examples of great companies that place Culture of Trust front and centre of their organisations.
Berkshire Hathaway is an example of a company with a great culture. “Our final advantage is the hard-to-duplicate culture that permeates Berkshire”, CEO Warren Buffet says. “And in businesses, culture counts.”
Berkshire Hathaway, the 5th largest company in the U.S., has no general counsel and no human resources department. The reason? Leaders at Berkshire Hathaway have a culture of trust.
Marc Beinoff, CEO of Salesforce, attests that trust is absolutely crucial. Representing Salesforce at the World Economic Forum 2018, Beinoff said:
“In the world of these new connected products, in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, in this multi-stakeholder dialogue that we have here at Davos, trust has to be the highest value in your company, and if it's not something bad is going to happen to you. It’s a culture issue."
Salesforce, a big advocate for a culture of trust, was named “Best place to work” in over 10 countries and multiple locations in the US.