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Quality Leadership Impacts Organisational Culture

Last week I had the opportunity to share insights on the Impact of Quality Leadership on Organizational Culture. More than 120 people participated to this event and supported the CCU Foundation's initiative to provide multi-functional printers to a school in need, particularly Şcoala Gimnazială Tătărăștii de Jos in Teleorman county. This reflects a commitment to both professional development and social responsibility for all participants.

Connecting leadership principles to tangible, positive actions such as supporting education in underprivileged areas is a powerful way to make a difference. By contributing to the improvement of educational resources, we are all helping create a positive ripple effect in the lives of those students, their families, and the community at large. Thank you for participation.


Certainly, leveraging the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle can be a valuable approach for building a strong, sustainable, and robust organisational culture. Here's how each step of the PDCA cycle can contribute to this goal:

  1. Plan:

  • Assessment: Conduct a thorough assessment of the existing organisational culture. Understand the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Identify the values and behaviours that align with the desired culture.

  • Define Objectives: Clearly define the objectives and goals for the desired organisational culture. Ensure that these goals are in line with the overall mission, vision and values of the organisation.

  • Engage Stakeholders: Involve key stakeholders, including employees at all levels, in the planning process. Their input and perspectives are crucial for creating a culture that resonates with the entire organization.

  1. Do:

  • Leadership Commitment: Demonstrate leadership commitment to the defined culture. Leaders should set an example by embodying the values and behaviours they want to see throughout the organisation.

  • Communication and Training: Implement communication strategies to ensure that employees understand the desired culture. Provide training programs to equip employees with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in the new culture.

  • Pilot Programs: Consider implementing pilot programs or initiatives to test cultural changes on a smaller scale before full-scale implementation.

  1. Check:

  • Performance Metrics: Develop and implement key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure progress toward the defined cultural objectives. Regularly assess these metrics to determine whether the organisation is moving in the right direction.

  • Feedback Mechanisms: Establish feedback mechanisms, such as surveys, focus groups, or regular check-ins, to gather input from employees. This feedback can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of cultural initiatives and identify areas for improvement.

  1. Act:

  • Continuous Improvement: Based on the feedback and performance metrics, make adjustments and improvements to the cultural initiatives. The Act phase is about learning from experience and refining strategies to better align with the desired culture.

  • Recognition and Rewards: Recognise and reward behaviours that align with the desired culture. This reinforces positive actions and encourages employees to embrace the cultural values.

By consistently applying the PDCA cycle, organisations can create a dynamic and adaptive approach to shaping and sustaining their desired culture over time. This iterative process allows for continuous improvement and ensures that the organisational culture remains aligned with the evolving needs of the business and its workforce.


During 1st phase "Planning" the leaders perspective on values and visions & mission has a big influence. Leading by example is a fundamental principle in effective leadership, and your emphasis on the role of leaders as the guardians of organisational values is crucial. Here are some key points that resonate with your insights:

  1. Values-Based Leadership:

  • Leaders serve as role models by embodying the values of the organisation. Their actions and decisions should consistently reflect these values, creating a guiding light for others to follow.

  1. Initiating Change:

  • Leaders play a pivotal role in initiating change. By being the first to embrace new behaviours, attitudes, and mindsets, they set the stage for the rest of the organisation to follow.

  1. Cascading Effect:

  • Organisational culture propagates in a cascade. The behaviours and attitudes of leaders influence those around them, creating a ripple effect throughout the organisation. This emphasises the importance of leadership in shaping and sustaining a positive culture.

  1. Responsibility for Progress:

  • Leaders bear the responsibility of monitoring progress and providing direction. Their engagement in the continuous improvement process, as highlighted in the PDCA cycle, is crucial for steering the organisation toward its goals.

  1. Leading Change in Teams:

  • To achieve different results or behaviours within a team, leaders must take the initiative to change first. By modelling the desired behaviours and attitudes, leaders inspire their teams to follow suit.

  1. Clear Communication:

  • Transparent and clear communication about the organisational values, expectations, and the rationale behind changes is essential. Leaders need to articulate the vision and ensure that their actions align with their words.

  1. Recognition and Success:

  • Acknowledging and celebrating successes resulting from the desired behaviours reinforces the importance of these behaviours. Recognition serves as positive reinforcement and motivates others to emulate successful practices.

  1. Continuous Improvement:

  • Leaders should be open to feedback and continually seek ways to improve both individually and collectively. This mindset of continuous improvement sets the tone for an organisation's culture of learning and adaptation.

In essence, your approach as a quality leader underscores the powerful influence that leaders have in shaping organisational culture. By being intentional about aligning actions with values, leaders not only foster a positive work environment but also inspire and guide their teams toward shared objectives.


The second Phase "Doing" start again with the leader and their inner circle. Your emphasis on leadership as a catalyst for organisational culture and individual behaviour is profound and aligns with well-established principles of effective leadership. Let's break down and reiterate some key points from your insightful perspective:

  1. Leadership Aligned with Organisational Values:

  • Leaders serve as custodians of organisational values, embodying them in their thoughts, actions, and interactions. By consistently reflecting these values, they set a standard for others to follow.

  1. Cascade Effect of Organisational Culture:

  • Organisational culture doesn't exist in isolation. It spreads through a cascade effect, with leaders being the initial carriers. Their behaviours influence others, creating a shared culture throughout the organisation.

  1. Leadership Responsibility for Progress:

  • Leaders play a pivotal role in the progress of individuals and the organisation as a whole. They are responsible for monitoring progress, offering guidance, and ensuring that the collective efforts align with the organisational mission.

  1. Proactive Change from Leadership:

  • To achieve different outcomes, leaders must be proactive in initiating change. By being the first to embrace new behaviours, attitudes, and mindsets, they demonstrate the adaptability needed for growth and improvement.

  1. Leading by Example:

  • Leadership is about leading by example. If leaders want to see specific behaviours in their teams, they must embody these behaviours themselves. Actions speak louder than words, and leaders set the tone for the entire organisation.

  1. Behavioural Change Initiatives:

  • Leaders are the initiators of change. If different results or behaviours are desired, leaders must be at the forefront of behavioural change initiatives. This includes altering their own behaviours first.

  1. Transparent Communication:

  • Clear communication from leaders about organisational values, expectations, and the rationale behind changes is crucial. Transparency builds trust and helps employees understand the reasons behind certain behaviours and decisions.

  1. Recognition of Success and Effort:

  • Leaders should actively recognise and celebrate successes resulting from desired behaviours. Acknowledgement reinforces positive actions and motivates individuals and teams to continue striving for success.

  1. Continuous Improvement Mindset:

  • Leaders should foster a culture of continuous improvement, both individually and collectively. This mindset encourages learning, adaptation, and a commitment to excellence.

In essence, in my perspective this article highlights the integral role of leadership in shaping the culture of any organisation. Leaders, by embodying the values and behaviours they advocate, create an environment where individuals are inspired to follow the examples, fostering a culture of success and shared values.


We move from Doing to Checking and absolutely, the "Check" phase in the PDCA cycle is crucial for evaluating progress and ensuring that the organisational culture is aligning with the desired values and objectives. Here are some key points related to the importance of measurement and assessment in the context of organisational culture:

  1. Quantifiable Metrics:

  • Establishing quantifiable metrics is essential for evaluating the current state of the organisational culture. These metrics could include employee engagement surveys, turnover rates, customer satisfaction scores, or any other relevant key performance indicators (KPIs).

  1. Alignment with Cultural Objectives:

  • The measuring system should align with the cultural objectives defined in the "Plan" phase. This ensures that the assessment process is directly tied to the desired outcomes and behaviours outlined for the organisation.

  1. Identifying Areas for Improvement:

  • Regular assessments help in identifying areas where the organisational culture may not be aligned with the intended values. This provides an opportunity to intervene and address any behaviours or practices that deviate from the desired cultural norms.

  1. Continuous Monitoring:

  • Measurement is not a one-time activity. It involves continuous monitoring to track changes over time. Regular check-ins and assessments allow for a dynamic understanding of the evolving organisational culture.

  1. Data-Driven Interventions:

  • Using the data collected during the measurement process, leaders can make informed decisions about interventions. Whether it involves reinforcing positive behaviours or addressing areas of concern, data-driven insights guide effective actions.

  1. Feedback Loops:

  • Establishing feedback loops, such as regular employee surveys or performance reviews, provides a channel for employees to express their thoughts on the organisational culture. This two-way communication aids in understanding the cultural dynamics from different perspectives.

  1. Course Correction:

  • The check phase is instrumental in identifying the need for course correction. If certain behaviours or aspects of the culture are not contributing positively, leaders can intervene to correct the course and realign with the intended cultural values.

  1. Adaptability to Change:

  • The measuring system should be adaptable to changes in the organisational environment. As the organisation evolves, so too may the cultural priorities. The measurement system needs to be flexible enough to accommodate these changes.

In summary, the "Check" phase is a continuous and iterative process that enables organisations to assess the effectiveness of their cultural initiatives. By measuring progress against predefined metrics, leaders can make informed decisions to intervene, reinforce positive behaviours, and ultimately steer the organisation toward the desired cultural state.


The "Act" phase in the PDCA cycle is crucial for turning insights from the evaluation phase into concrete actions for improvement. Here are key points related to the "Act" phase, especially in the context of achieving or not achieving desired results in organizational culture:

  1. Celebrating Success:

  • When desired results are achieved, it's important to celebrate and acknowledge the efforts of the team. Recognising and thanking the team for their contributions fosters a positive and motivated work environment.

  1. Lesson Analysis:

  • Analysing lessons learned from successful outcomes helps in understanding what worked well. Identifying these positive aspects allows the organization to replicate successful strategies in other areas or activities.

  1. Knowledge Transfer:

  • Taking lessons learned to another activity or project is essential for continuous improvement. It involves transferring knowledge gained from one context to another, promoting consistency and effectiveness across different aspects of the organisation.

  1. Continuous Learning:

  • The "Act" phase is an opportunity for continuous learning. By reflecting on successful outcomes, leaders and teams can gain insights into their strengths and best practices, contributing to ongoing professional development and organisational growth.

  1. Root Cause Analysis:

  • If desired results are not achieved, it's crucial to conduct a thorough analysis of processes and behaviours. Identify the root causes of the issues to address underlying problems rather than just treating symptoms.

  1. Process and Behaviour Improvement:

  • Based on the analysis, take targeted actions to improve both processes and behaviours. This could involve refining workflows, providing additional training, or implementing changes in organisational policies or structures.

  1. Feedback Integration:

  • Integrate feedback received during the measurement and evaluation phases into the improvement process. Feedback from employees and stakeholders is valuable for understanding the impact of cultural initiatives and making necessary adjustments.

  1. Adaptability to Change:

  • The "Act" phase requires a willingness to adapt to change. If certain behaviours or processes are hindering progress, leaders must be open to modifying strategies and implementing innovative solutions to improve performance.

  1. Communication of Changes:

  • Transparently communicate any changes resulting from the improvement actions to the team. Clarity in communication helps foster trust and ensures that everyone is aligned with the adjustments being made.

  1. Iterative Process:

  • The "Act" phase is not a one-time event; it is an iterative process. Continuous monitoring, feedback, and adaptation are necessary for sustained improvement in organisational culture.

In essence, the "Act" phase is about taking decisive actions based on the insights gained during the evaluation phase, whether those actions involve celebrating success, transferring knowledge, or making improvements in response to challenges.


The emphasis on the central role of leadership in the iterative cycle of PDCA - planning, doing, checking, and acting, especially in the context of organisational culture, is absolutely fundamental. Leadership serves as the guiding force that shapes and sustains the culture of an organisation.


In essence, everything indeed starts and finishes with leadership, as John Maxwell said. Quality Leaders serve as the architects of organisational culture, shaping its evolution and ensuring its alignment with the overall mission, values and goals of the organisation. Their commitment to the continuous improvement process is instrumental in fostering a vibrant and adaptive organisational culture.

 

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