Cultivating a Culture of Continuous Improvement: Insights from Mike Hoseus

In the ever-evolving landscape of business and industry, one constant remains undeniable: a strong organisational culture is paramount to achieving lasting success. At BMA, we are committed to staying at the forefront of thought leadership and industry insights, here are valuable insights from a Shared Learning session featuring Mike Hoseus, the Executive Director of the Centre for Quality People and Organisations and the author of “Lean Culture Enterprises.” In his session, Mike delved into the crucial role of culture in driving business results:  

The Power of Culture in Driving Business Results 

Mike Hoseus emphasises that leaders play a pivotal role in shaping the culture of their organisations. He highlights that the most critical task for leaders is to create and manage a culture that aligns with the organization’s goals and aspirations. He quoted Edgar Schein, Professor at MIT Sloan School of Management, “If you do not manage culture, it manages you, and you may not even be aware of the extent to which this is happening.” 

The True North: Guiding Principles 

Hoseus advocates for organisations to establish clear guiding principles that serve as their “True North.” These guiding principles should reflect the culture the organisation aspires to cultivate. He uses Toyota as an example, where their guiding principles include the belief that “everyone is a problem solver” and that “company leaders are coaches/teachers.” 

Guiding principles are not just lofty statements but the embodiment of what an organisation truly wants to be. They serve as the foundation upon which culture is built. However, Hoseus points out that there can often be a gap between these guiding principles and the actual behaviour within the organisation. 

Closing the Gap Between Principles and Behaviour 

To create a culture that aligns with the guiding principles, organisations must work on closing this gap. Hoseus recommends that to change employee behaviour, you must first change the systems in place. The systems within an organization significantly influence the behaviour of its people. Therefore, to foster the desired culture, leaders must pay attention to the systems that drive their employees’ actions. 

Systems, Culture Behaviour, and Results 

Hoseus emphasises that the systems an organisation has in place not only dictate behaviour but also determine the results the organisation achieves. For an organisation to sustain and grow, it must ensure that its systems are designed to support the desired culture. Tools, too, are an integral part of these systems and play a crucial role in influencing culture, behaviour, and ultimately, results. 

At BMA, we understand the importance of aligning culture, systems, and tools to drive sustainable success. Mike Hoseus’s insights remind us that an organisation’s culture is a powerful force that influences behaviour and ultimately shapes the results it achieves. 

Bringing It All Together 

Mike Hoseus’s session serves as a reminder that organisational culture is not just a buzzword but a fundamental driver of success. Leaders must actively shape and manage the culture they want, ensuring it aligns with their guiding principles. By recognising the interconnectedness of systems, culture behaviour, and results, organisations can cultivate a culture of continuous improvement and achieve their desired business outcomes.