Strategic Intent                                                   A leadership perspective on today’s issues             ...
defined by the company and                  culture already exists, individuals     many channels and interactions.gatheri...
Supporting its mantra of: work              and tells new hires that if they quit   The Walt Disney Companyshould be chall...
compensation programs, including            For example, realizing that closed-                                           ...
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Strat intent culture

  1. 1. Strategic Intent A leadership perspective on today’s issues and tomorrow’s trends for business successPublished by Edelman Change and Employee Engagement Volume 3, Issue 3Transforming Corporate CultureHow Your Employees Think, Feel and Behave as a Meansto Succeed in Today’s Competitive Marketplace with strategy is a powerful means for gaining competitive advantage. Unfortunately, although companies are usually pretty good at establishing their corporate strategies, they often overlook or underestimate whether they have the right culture in place to direct the company toward continued and future success. Or they don’t know how to change their corporate culture to support future growth goals. Assessing corporate culture First and foremost, culture is seen today more than ever before as anCorporate That said, there is no “right” culture important determinant in a company’sculture defined model. Rather, the key for leadership success. General Motors, for example, is to adhere to a corporate culture recently replaced most of its seniorCorporate culture is the distinctive that is consistent with the company’s leadership citing the need for a newpersonality of an organization. It is vision, values and strategic goals. culture among other things.a key determinant in how employees Not surprisingly, corporate culturesbehave – what to do and what not of industry leaders do not develop But how do you know if yourto do. At the core, corporate culture by accident. Instead, successful culture is helping or hinderingdescribes “how things are done in companies explicitly shape and organizational success? Certainly,an organization” and includes an define their corporate cultures to traditional techniques such asorganization’s core values, beliefs serve as effective enablers, helping employee surveys, focus groupand assumptions. them achieve their desired objectives. interviews, and regular pulse Often, corporate culture will checks are common methods forNew employees assimilate culture determine whether an organization assessing a company’s currentas the way to perceive, think, feel, survives in the long-term, especially culture by uncovering gaps betweenact and expect others to behave in in volatile environments. The employees’ beliefs and valuesthe organization. ability to align corporate culture versus expectations and protocols Strategic Intent • 1 © 2011 Edelman Change and Employee Engagement Group
  2. 2. defined by the company and culture already exists, individuals many channels and interactions.gathering employee feedback and need to unlearn the old values, Consequently, it is critical thatinsights on the type of culture they assumptions and behaviors before company leaders articulate whywant the organization to develop. they learn the new ones. the change is important and how it relates to individual andEven more alarming are the That said, companies can and do organizational success. However,signs or symptoms indicating a change their cultures. In fact, many company leaders must alsocompany’s culture may be suffering of the most successful companies demonstrate behavioral support forand requires attention and change. continue to exist because they the transformation. People look to have transformed their cultures their leaders for signals on how toThey include: multiple times. Think IBM, Apple, act. Hence, executives must lead • High turnover Nike, and Xerox to name a few. In the change by altering their own studying culture change, we have behaviors and making sure their • Difficulty in attracting top identified the four dimensions that actions and decisions are aligned talent must be addressed. with values of the new culture. • Low employee commitment to contribute to the organization’s Apple Founder Steve Jobs defined success and developed the company’s • Lack of information exchange Management culture in ways that can neither be between individuals and teams Leadership Practices and replicated nor replaced. Similarly, Workplace Disney instills its core values to • Poor transparency into how Policies every employee at every level by decisions are made enveloping the culture through • Drop in customer satisfaction story telling, sharing, recognition scores Organizational Performance and rewards. Structure Management • Minimal employee participation in company events Dimension #2: • Reduced cooperation and Management Practices collaboration between and Workplace Policies colleagues Dimension #1: As the formal arbitrator of what is Leadership acceptable in a company and keyChanging factor of determining how “thingscorporate culture When a company is looking to change get done in an organization,” aThe Four Dimensions its corporate culture, its leadership company’s management practicesof Culture Change team plays two critical roles – 1) and workplace policies are the changing the conversation to reflect tangible, significant ways forOnce a company realizes its current the organizational and individual how people experience, liveculture needs to change, it must behaviors, business focus, and and feel culture. For example,first comprehend the underpinnings priorities underpinning the change allowing certain bad behaviorof what makes a desired culture and explaining why it is important; from managers instills a negativebecomes a reality. Changing a 2) supporting the change through set of people values. Whilecompany’s culture requires careful commitment – its own actions, instituting policies that allowplanning and critical understanding behaviors, decisions, performance working mothers to work part-timeof which organizational levers have measures, and investments. or from home on certain daysthe greatest impact on transforming help develop a family-friendlyits culture. It is more challenging Employees will only begin culture. Alternatively, managementto change the culture of an existing rethinking and changing their practices that ignore familyorganization than to create a culture own behaviors if they experience obligations instill a culture thatin a new organization. When a the new way to do things through devalues work-life balance. Strategic Intent • 2 © 2011 Edelman Change and Employee Engagement Group
  3. 3. Supporting its mantra of: work and tells new hires that if they quit The Walt Disney Companyshould be challenging, and the on the spot, Zappos will pay them trains managers everyday onchallenge should be fun, Google for the time they have worked, plus a how to recognize employees whopermits engineers to devote 20 bonus. The idea behind “the offer” is demonstrate the company’s corepercent of their time on anything to give new hires the opportunity to values and provides them with thethey want that they are really leave the organization if they do not tools to do so. Furthermore, Disneypassionate about. To ensure global have the sense of commitment that has over 180 recognition programsmanagement practices support its Zappos is looking for. that encourage employees to supportunique culture, Google hired a the company’s culture. Among theseChief Culture Officer who works Dimension # 3: programs is the “Spirit of FREDwith employees around the world to Performance Management Award.” FRED is an acronym createdidentify ways to maintain, enhance from the name of an employee whoand develop the company’s culture One of the most effective drivers personified the Disney values:and keep its core values, even as it of culture rests with how people are Friendly, Resourceful, Enthusiastic,continues growing. measured performance-wise including Dependable. An employee had compensation, recognition, and introduced this award to recognize the:: Hiring Practices training/development. individuals who mentored and coachedPersonalities and experiences him as he began his managementof employees have significant :: Training and Development career after being an hourly employee.effects on a company’s culture. Behavior change drives culture Employees liked the award so much,While training employees in the change. Employees must clearly they kept giving it out.behaviors of the new culture is understand what is expected ofimportant, hiring employees who them and what their new behaviors :: Performance Reviews &already embody core values of should be, to support the culture Compensation Structuresthe new culture accelerates and transformation. Training is useful To ensure consistency, companiesstrengthens the change. People in defining and communicating must make sure performance andtend to conform to the behaviors of new expectations and teaching new compensation structures endorsethose surrounding them. New hires behaviors. Integrating core values the behaviors and beliefs of the newcan influence other employees to of the new culture into training culture. For example, employeeschange their behaviors and adopt programs further clarifies for should not be rewarded for individualnew expectations and ways of employees what the new culture performance if the new cultureinteracting with each other. looks like and how it differs from specifies collaboration and team work the previous culture. as a core value. Companies shouldAware that finding the right make sure they clearly define the newemployees is critical to maintaining :: Recognition and Rewards performance standards to preventand developing its culture of Acknowledging and rewarding ideal employee confusion.commitment and professionalism, as behaviors that support the newpart of its interview process, Zappos, culture are critical. Recognition A leading department store chainan online retailer, asks applicants should be both private and public, enforces its culture of high-a series of questions pertaining to so that everyone clearly understands performance and excellence inthe person’s core values, to better what behaviors are valued. More the earliest stages of an employee’sunderstand if the applicant and private recognition can come from experience. The company designsZappos fit well together. To reinforce senior leaders or even the CEO so performance standards, reviews,Zappos’ core values, every new individuals understand what they compensation and other HRhire participates in a four-week did was important, not just for their management programs to reinforceimmersion program to understand direct manager, but that senior its culture of excellence throughoutthe company’s philosophies, culture leaders also value their support an employee’s career. Its HRand practices. A week into the in shaping the new culture. function also works to continuallyprogram, Zappos stops the training improve the communication of total Strategic Intent • 3 © 2011 Edelman Change and Employee Engagement Group
  4. 4. compensation programs, including For example, realizing that closed- Edelman Change andcash compensation and benefits, door offices can impede collaboration Employee Engagement is theso that employees know and fully and interaction, to maintain anunderstand the reward system open communications culture, some global organizational (internal)and its links to the company’s companies now operate in open- change communicationscore values. office environments. Instead of consulting group of Edelman, closed offices and cubicles, each the largest independent publicDimension #4: workspace including the CEO’s, relations firm in the world andOrganizational Structures is out in the open and looks out the third largest overall. The upon the rest of the staff in each mission of Edelman ChangeOrganizational structures can play department. Some companies evenan important role in defining how use rolling desks, cabinets and seats, and Employee Engagement is toindividuals and teams interact so that employees can set up their advise and assist organizationswith each other, which affects individual workspaces according to on strengthening the abilitya company’s overall culture. their personal needs and preferences. to implement corporateCompanies with multi-layer strategy and initiatives throughorganizational structures tend to A long-term play management and employeebe more hierarchical, inflexible Transforming a company’s culture engagement and effectiveand process-driven compared tocompanies with flat organizational is challenging, but it can be done. communications in orderstructures. Meanwhile, companies In some cases, it must be done, or to build brands and achievewith many business units competing the company risks not surviving business goals.for the same customers and internal in the long-term. In addition toresources might lead to siloed the key levers discussed above, The group providesteams that rarely collaborate on persistence, patience, discipline and employee involvement are critical to distinctive expertise injoint projects. Just as there is no“right” corporate culture, there is successfully transform a company’s organizational effectiveness,no “right” organizational structure. culture. Culture change takes time. culture transformation,That said, companies should be The speed of change depends on strategy implementation andcareful that their organizational the size of the organization, the accessibility, CEO transition andstructures empower and encourage commitment of top leaders and the positioning, internal branding,individuals to behave in ways availability of resources to implement post-merger integration, labor-consistent with the new corporate the change throughout the company. Nonetheless, with strong leadership, management relations, internalculture, instead of contradicting it. results will begin immediately. communications programming:: Physical Work Environments and research/measurement.Often overlooked, employees’physical workspaces are valuable For more information, pleasedrivers for changing a company’s visit culture. The amount ofworkspace different individuals haveand whether this varies dependingon seniority in the company, whereoffices are located, who are assignedoffices, how many common areasthere are and how common areas areutilized, affect how people behave,interact and communicate, which inturn shape the company’s culture. Strategic Intent • 4 © 2011 Edelman Change and Employee Engagement Group