“Culture eats strategy for breakfast,” CEO Percy Sechemane declared during the recent TCTA Culture Day, echoing a widely accepted maxim in management sciences. The idea emanates from a belief that culture trumps strategy in engendering business success as it drives implementation.
In this context, TCTA has been in the throes of building a high‐performance culture for some time. Culture is essentially about jointly held values that shape how organisations do certain things and the behaviour of employees.
Executive: HR&OD Hanje Botha, while welcoming all to the session, mapped the organisation’s journey thus far. In 2021, TCTA conducted a Culture Survey to assess the organisation’s behaviour versus its stated values.
Culture Day, held under the theme Reset: A New Beginning, forms part of the culture transformation programme adopted to bridge the mismatch in behaviours and values identified in the assessment. The sub‐themes comprised Reconnect, Recreate and Revision.
TCTA staff turned out in their numbers amid the anxiety about the COVID‐19 pandemic, a development that Botha lauded. She expressed hope that the first of what is planned to be an annual event would provide a platform to create positive memories together.
Sechemane emphasised that the intervention did not imply that TCTA had done badly, but naturally, there was always room for improvement. “All boils down to how we take the business forward—as we move to the future, we must be infused with TCTA culture.,” he added in his opening remarks.
The CEO reminded the participants that openness and involvement were critical in building a culture that would spur the organisation forward. “Employees are the culture of TCTA—it’s us, not them,” Sechemane concluded.
Under the guidance of external facilitators, the employees took part in several interactive sessions, including one about reconnecting. It had been about two years since the organisation implemented remote working because of COVID‐19.
In their different breakout teams, employees shared their experiences about what they enjoyed, found difficult and learned about themselves while working from home. The session further engaged on personal visions for TCTA, the positives to take forwards and the negatives to discard.
The 2022 Culture Day took place at Royal Elephant Hotel and Conference Centre, Centurion, on 11 March.