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Understanding Company Culture and Leadership Dynamics

Melium Consulting
Mar 4, 2020
The symbiotic relationship between leadership and organisational culture has never been more pronounced.

Ongoing paradigm shifts in supply chain functions warrant a closer look at company culture. There is no doubt that culture is an engine of surviving and thriving in today’s complex operating environments.

To remain competitive and maintain supply chain effectiveness, organisations must have flexible, agile, and innovative cultures – demanding a corresponding evolution in leadership styles.

No longer confined to simple operational oversight, today's supply chain leaders must be across all the intricacies of the end-to-end supply chain, whilst nurturing a company culture that is aligned with business objectives – certainly no small feat.

Before embarking on an executive search program to find a leader aligned with your organisation’s mission, it’s imperative to understand how leadership impacts company culture. We’ll delve into leadership’s influence on culture, highlighting opportunities and blind spots.

Leadership Self-Awareness

It's often said that actions speak louder than words, and nowhere is this more evident than in leadership. Leading by example demonstrates that a leader is indeed aware of the behaviours, attitudes and motivations they’re modelling for their employees.

Self-awareness involves a fair amount of humility, authenticity and emotional intelligence. Supply chain leaders must scrutinise not only the behaviours of their employees but also their own leadership styles.

How a leader communicates with teams, handles failures and recognises others’ achievements are all integral to their style, which reinforces company culture – for better or worse. Reflection on one’s leadership style is foundational to shaping company culture.

A Love of Learning

Effective leaders understand that a strong learning culture is what makes supply chain effectiveness possible. To foster a culture of continuous learning, they understand the interconnectedness of different functions within their organisation.

Consider how command-and-control leadership styles are now more likely to hamper a business, as they are prone to siloing information and knowledge. By contrast, leaders who can look outside of their own domain – and encourage their teams to do the same – are better equipped to discover vital market intelligence and emerging business opportunities.

They recognise that insights from sales can provide critical data on shifting customer preferences, enabling more accurate demand forecasting and inventory management. Similarly, collaboration with finance helps in assessing the financial viability and risks associated with strategic investments in the supply chain infrastructure.

Team Empowerment

Attracting and retaining top talent hinges on more than just competitive salaries and benefits; it rests on cultivating a culture where individuals feel valued, empowered, and inspired to contribute their best.

Teams are empowered when employees are encouraged to speak up, contribute and share their knowledge in a variety of settings within the business. Empowered teams are given the authority to make decisions and take action without constant micromanagement from higher-ups.

Another aspect of empowerment is resources. Empowered teams have access to the necessary tools and training to succeed in their roles. Leaders who support empowered cultures provide ongoing support and guidance, removing obstacles and barriers that may hinder team progress.

The flipside of empowerment is that leaders hold team members accountable for their actions and outcomes, while also trusting them to fulfil their responsibilities autonomously. By creating a culture of trust and mutual respect, team members feel empowered to take ownership of their work.

Dedication to Ethical Business

With public attention increasingly drawn towards the ethics of supply chains in consumer-facing industries, the spotlight on companies is growing accordingly.

Organisations with lax attitudes to supply chain ethics are exposed to heightened reputational risk, which is often directly linked to their internal culture.

Ethical leaders serve as custodians of the standards upheld throughout the supply chain, promoting the long-term sustainability and prosperity of their organisations. They must take into consideration the interests of various stakeholders, including employees, customers, shareholders, and the broader community when making decisions.

In essence, ethical leadership in supply chains goes beyond mere compliance; it embodies a commitment to integrity, accountability, and stakeholder engagement. By championing ethical practices and promoting a culture of transparency and responsibility, ethical leaders pave the way for sustainable growth and positive societal impact within their organisations and beyond.

Build the Right Company Culture with a Talent Partner

The intertwined relationship between leadership and organisational culture stands as the centrepiece of a company’s supply chain effectiveness.

Before embarking on endeavours such as executive search programs to find leaders aligned with the organisation’s objective, it is important to evaluate the areas outlined here, to determine where a leader will make the greatest impact.  

Only by embracing this understanding can companies achieve sustainable success. Working with a trusted talent partner can steer you towards this goal. Melium Consulting’s executive search and consulting expertise, spanning the UK and EU, including the Benelux region, matches exceptional leaders to eminent businesses that epitomise supply chain effectiveness.  

Whether you're seeking new career opportunities or aiming to discover executive talent for your business, reach out to us today and unlock new possibilities.

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