Siya Kolisi – Credit Getty Images

Many things have been said about our Springboks’ win against England at last weekend’s Rugby World Cup final in Japan;

“The win has provided a welcome moment of optimism,” said Nobel Prize winner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

President Cyril Ramaphosa was also quoted as saying, “This is a powerful indicator of what we can achieve when we set goals for ourselves, and we work together to achieve success”. While Many South Africans have been quoted saying that they hope that the win will inspire unity in the country and inject much-needed positivity during these challenging times, that we are #strongertogether, which has been the Springbok’s mantra for the 2019 world cup. Such is the power of winning.

The same can be said of a winning organisational culture. It can have a powerful impact on employee performance. Culture is the glue that binds an organisation together, and it’s the hardest thing for competitors to copy. As a result, it can be a lasting source of competitive advantage.  

Research suggests that winning cultures are comprised of two interrelated and reinforcing elements. First, every high-performing company has a unique identity — distinctive characteristics that set it apart from other organisations. These characteristics give employees a sense of meaning just from being part of the company. They also create a passion for what the company does.

Since the last blow of the whistle signalling the end of this year’s rugby championship in Japan, I have read various articles on the Springboks’ world cup campaign, and it is characterised by many of the elements found in winning organisational cultures.

There are more than ten types of organisational culture, whichever your organisation has adopted, it needs to be nurtured, reinforced, and leveraged in support of delivering sustainable performance. This can only be done by building a strong “culture foundation.”

According to, the following are just some of the steps that can be implemented in managing organisational culture;

  1. Evaluate your current culture and performance
  2. Clarify your initial vision
  3. Clarify values and expected behaviours.
  4. Clarify strategic priorities.
  5. Engage your team in defining SMART goals.
  6. Clarify and track key measures,
  7. Maintain a management system for priorities and goals.
  8. Manage communication habits and routines.
  9. Build motivation throughout the process.

The process of identifying, adopting and building an organisational culture doesn’t happen overnight and is especially hard to change once it is set. Want to create a winning organisational culture unique to your business? Want to bolster your value proposition with authentic organisational characteristics that set you apart from your competitors? Design@Bay can assist with strategic interventions and tactics to make your organisational culture a winning one! 

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