WellBeing and
Performance Group

Home of the WellBeing and Performance Agenda

Culture

An Adaptive Culture

An Adaptive Work Culture is one that enables the business or service adapt quickly and effectively to internal and external pressures for change. Change is an essential ingredient for survival and prosperity. Adapting to change relies on the workforce being able to adapt without any diminution in their performance. Change is often cited as the biggest threat to the workforce, yet it’s vital.

If change is badly managed, or the corporate culture doesn’t embed change as a normal activity, organisations can suffer badly.

In recent years there have been some high profile company collapses as a consequence of inadequate responsiveness to changes in the market. Thousands of people have lost their jobs as a consequence.

The WellBeing and Performance Agenda places Adaptive Culture as a key element of psychological wellbeing of the workforce. If the corporate culture consistently supports a positive psychological environment then the workforce will be more resilient against stress. This means that the workforce will respond effectively to change without losing productivity. If the culture ‘sees’ change as a threat, the workforce will pick this up and become fearful of change, making change a more complicated process to manage effectively.

Key elements of an Adaptive Culture

The Adaptive Culture Architecture

The Adaptive Culture Architecture Key Points

Purpose – is about having a clear, unambiguous purpose expressed in outcome terms.

Cultural Values – is about the values that influence individual behaviour, such as Psychological Responsibility as a cultural value, and commitment, trust, engagement and kinship as cultural values.

Vision – is about having a long term idea of where the business or service is going.

Corporate values – is about the values that govern the way the business or service operates, for example, having the workforce at the centre of everything, then customers and clients, then suppliers and partners, then the shareholders.

Corporate strategy – is about ensuring that all the elements of wellbeing and performance are central to corporate strategy.

Structure – is about having as flat a structure as possible.

Problem solving – is about ensuring the people with the appropriate skills, knowledge and experience are brought together to solve problems, and not relying on people is specific positions to always have the skills to solve all the problems.

Partnership – is about ensuring the business or service has partnerships with similar cultural and corporate values.

Rules – is about the rules that implement commitment, trust, engagement and kinship. They are enabling rules.

Corporate Citizenship – is about ensuring every member of the workforce, Leaders, managers and employees, feels they ‘own’ the business or service and are vital to its future success.