How can leaders influence culture? It’s ubiquitous but nebulous. It’s in the interactions between people, and in ‘how things are done’. It shapes the tenor of conversations, the quality and speed of decisions, the level of employee engagement, the calibre of recruits, and brand reputations. It is critical for any organization that needs to change direction.
Yet for something so powerful, culture is often poorly understood and neglected by leaders. In this issue, we focus on the key components of culture in today’s fast-moving and unpredictable world. We examine the elements of culture underpinning organizational agility, and the levers available to leaders in reshaping their organizations’ cultures. How should leaders think about the shift that is needed away from transactional ways of doing business to more sustainable, relational approaches? In this issue’s Focus, we examine the potential impact of fear on work, both rational and irrational – and ask how leaders can make work safer, reducing the terrible toll that work still takes on so many people’s lives around the world today.