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Organizational Culture and ISO 9001

· 3 min read
Israel Munguia

The relationship between organizational culture and the ISO 9001 standard is a fundamental aspect to consider. In all companies, organizational culture exerts both conscious and unconscious influence on the behavior of its members, which, in turn, affects the results achieved.

However, many times, we face the challenge that this culture does not align with what leaders had planned, nor is it designed to support the strategic growth of the company.

Let's not deceive ourselves: if, as leaders, we do not define the culture that should prevail in our organization, then the organization itself will create its own culture.

In this article, I will focus on explaining why culture is essential for the success of implementing the ISO 9001 standard in your company, as well as for the overall success of the organization.

The Importance of Organizational Culture

To understand the relevance of culture in your organization, consider two examples:

Duck Industries

  • Employees feel undervalued and receive low salaries.
  • Management is frugal and does not invest in improvements.
  • Basic software licenses are lacking.
  • Training is virtually non-existent.
  • There are no continuous development programs.

Leaderless Retail

  • They offer training, and the work environment is suitable.
  • Employees have the necessary tools for their work.
  • There is a lack of clarity regarding purpose and direction.
  • Employees lack a connection with the leaders.

These examples illustrate the importance of organizational culture. In Duck Industries, the culture reflects a lack of employee appreciation, a lack of investment in development, and a cost-cutting-focused mindset. In Leaderless Retail, although there are positive aspects, the lack of clarity regarding purpose and direction, as well as the lack of connection with the leaders, is evident.

In the next section, we will delve into the relevance of culture for the success of ISO 9001 implementation and for the general success of a company.

Organizational Culture in Action

Companies like Duck Industries and Leaderless Retail are a reality in our cities. What kind of culture do you think exists in them?

Organizational culture is manifested through three fundamental concepts:

  1. Rituals and Legends: Events, traditions, and practices with symbolic meaning. These include award ceremonies, anniversary celebrations, and narratives that define the company's identity.

  2. Values: Fundamental principles rooted in the organization, such as respect, integrity, and collaboration, which guide employees' actions.

  3. Unconscious Action: Behaviors and automatic actions rooted in the organization, influenced by the existing culture.

The Relationship between Organizational Culture and the ISO 9001 Standard

Organizational culture cannot be left to chance. Leaders must establish the desired values, standards, and practices in the company. If you want significant projects, such as the implementation of a Quality Management System (QMS), to succeed, it is crucial to create a culture around it.

If you fail to establish a culture of quality, continuous improvement, or customer focus, the project will become an empty QMS, lacking a soul, where requirements are fulfilled out of obligation.

Editor's Notes:

If you want to delve deeper into building a culture of quality and excellence in your company, don't miss the next chapter, where we will explore five key strategies to achieve it. Stay tuned and continue participating in the conversation!


Learn more about ISO 9001 at our Free Learning Center.