There is lots to be said about workplace culture and our Molecule to Market interviewees have all discussed culture in one way or another across our podcast episodes.
But what makes culture so important? How do you build a strong culture? And why is culture so important when scaling a business?
This week we have dug deep into our episode archive to see what our life science and supply chain experts can teach us about culture?
We hope you find handpicked summary and episode recap recommendations useful….
There is a well-known saying: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast” – Peter Drucker
Culture is a critical driver for any organisation’s success. It can shape and influence an organisation’s internal environment, as well as external success.
Workplace culture is the way people behave, what they believe, and the values they hold. These behaviours, beliefs, and values are passed through the organisation via communication and imitation, from one employee or executive to the next.
Our podcast guests seem to collectively agree that if you get culture right it can drive innovation and growth, promote ethical behaviour, increase client satisfaction, and create strong employee engagement. But get culture wrong and it can destroy organisational performance, kill employee engagement, drive clients to leave and cause strategic initiatives to stall or fail.
There are several key things that support an organisation’s culture and ensure it is healthy and actively supporting the vision, mission, and strategies.
Culture builds and makes it easy to maintain a healthy and strong organisation that can flourish. In Episode 46, Andrew Moore from Pfizer CentreOne discusses the importance of reshaping an organisation from a values point of view. He talks about his time working with CEO Albert Bourla and how Pfizer’s values are so succinct and support execution and strategy. You can listen back to The unique general interview to hear more.
During Episode 45, Tom Moody from Almac Group talks about “The Stickability factor”, and how training and development supports growth and enables people to progress in their career. Hear Tom’s thoughts on why it takes great stickability to stay with one organisation and the importance culture has on scaling by focussing on values. We also recommend catching Peter Bigelow at xCell Strategic Consulting’s interview (Episode 44), the poacher turned gamekeeper, turned hybrid, where he talks about how to illustrate a culture of quality. Peter says, “Companies that have good leaders who deal with all of the curved balls that come at us are the ones that have been the most successful in our industry.”
In our episode, ‘Creating a healthy culture’, Jeff Dill from Vynamic holds a detailed conversation covering why corporate values and culture are vital including the ‘secret sauce’ behind fostering a healthy corporate culture & making inclusion and diversity intrinsic to your company and values. Jeff talks about how making values a strategic priority ensures that the whole company is onboard and offers a lens thorough which all strategic decisions are made, citing that, “If you take care of your team, they in turn will take care of your clients.” He proudly promotes Vynamic’s interesting and amazing corporate culture. Stating that, “values really do mean something and are not just words up on a wall somewhere. Team members are the company’s main focus and first priority.”
With more and more organisations striving to develop a strong culture and embracing workplaces where people can bring their whole self to work every day, our interviewees agree that authenticity is a huge part of a healthy culture and that documenting your purpose, mission, values, and culture does not require a raft of materials – culture should be lived and breathed.
The covid-19 pandemic has forced many companies and boards to revisit their culture and to make adaptations, with many learning to embrace employees work and home lives including their life and family commitments, seeing people as a whole and building flexibility and trust.
In a sector previously known for its traditional ways the life science and pharmaceutical sector has seen organisational cultures move at pace over the last 18-months. Adopting innovative working practices, flexibility and trust the sector is experiencing exponential change, which can only be a good thing for corporate culture and business growth.
What has our episode recap taught us about culture?
Put organisational culture high on the agenda
Make values a strategic priority and ensure that the whole company is onboard to offer a lens thorough which all strategic decisions are made. Carve out time in meetings, strategic retreats, and planning days to have culture discussions.
Define the board’s role in culture
It is important that the board and senior team come together and clearly outline the role that the board will play in overseeing and shaping culture. Companies that have good leaders are the most successful.
Embed training & development in your culture
Having a culture that prioritises training and development supports growth and enables people to progress in their career which supports the business to scale by focussing on values.
Live & breathe your values
Make sure your values really do mean something and are not just words up on a wall. Values should be simple, succinct and support your overall strategy.
Culture is a living, breathing thing and must be treated as such. While it is possible for boards to have oversight and influence on culture, it is important to remember that culture cannot simply be overseen by the ticking of boxes. To develop a strong culture and to support growth it requires organisational buy-in, demonstration from the top-down with core values at the heart.
We hope you enjoyed our culture recap and that you will make some time to tune in to our recommended episodes. Don’t forget you can re-listen to our full A-Z of episodes here.