Does your business have the right kind of organization culture?

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Kenya may be changing too slowly. Back when I was finishing high school (yikes, I’m old) I thought by now we would have a subway in Nairobi. But we only got the sandwiches. Other things, though, have changed to a great degree.

Just take a look at Devolved Government or smartphone ownership and all it brings up – despite the fact that they are not made in Kenya. That’s culture changing. There is an unsettled debate as to whether culture influences you and I more than the nature we are born with. Are you like that because it’s how you were born or did society do that?

Your answer is very relevant to women entrepreneurship. Depending on the right answer, we can figure out whether STEM can become attractive for women or if women have the required risk tolerance to succeed as entrepreneurs. We may just conclude that women are different from men, but both are equally needed at the table.

Closer to your everyday life is how these concerns about culture affect your business performance. Organization culture is a concept more popular in, big business, corporate circles. It could be because they have too much money and time on their hands. But, really, this concept can make a difference in a small business too. You have to think about how you and your team work, removed from only focusing on results. As you know, the process is part of your accomplishments and those people have feelings and stuff that must be considered.

Why organization culture is important to your life

So, yes. Organization culture does influence your small business. And at the top is you (don’t giggle…it’s too soon for puns). You represent the decision-making processes. Are you a one-woman show? Do you consult? Do you delegate just to get things off your hands? That’s smart.

The culture by which decisions are made, in your business, not only affects the pace in which goals are realized but also what kind of goals these are. How? The organization culture you have over there reveals what you prioritize; therefore, how you allocate resources. It’s not too different from your personal life. For example, I would never spend money on concerts because I don’t like concerts. Tell me, what normal thing do you not prioritize? A common resource allocation dilemma in business is whether to focus on products or marketing. We have an answer, I believe.

It’s not all about you. Organization culture is also relevant with regards to your employees. I am sure you want productivity and good faith from them just like other entrepreneurs. These are, unsurprisingly, high hurdles for small businesses in Kenya because they offer comparatively low salaries and benefits. It hurts, but at the end of the day everyone is in it for the money. We need to go back.

Motivating your team

Your business can have a fitting organization culture to develop a motivated team even without funds for big remuneration. That will cause issues of employee retention but that is a different kind of problem. The most common indicators of good culture by small businesses in Kenya include informal communication and flat hierarchies – meaning there is almost no woman or man in charge.

How do you arrive at these kinds of structures? It starts by knowing what organization culture is – as you now do. It is then logical to discover what drives culture change in your business. Is it your whims? Is it new employees? With the answer, you can tweak what you need to make your business work they way you want it to (or need to) on a day-to-day basis.

How do you organize your employees and yourself? Let us know in the comments below!

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Web Content and stuff. You can reach me you know: editor@herbusiness.co.ke, malitrobert@gmail.com

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