Your CEO begins the Board meeting with an impassioned call to action. “The approaches that made us an industry leader in the past are keeping us from remaining relevant in today’s business environment,” says Larry. “We need to change our business culture—so that we have a business future!”
All heads dutifully nod, but is the team ready? As discussion progresses over the next hour, it becomes clear that not everyone has the same understanding of what “corporate culture” means, how important it is, or what to do about it.
One VP, Reggie, says that culture change happens slowly, organically. “You can’t push it.” Mahesh has been reading up on the topic, and begins throwing around jargon without explanation. Valerie expresses the need to address last year’s employee survey that indicated dropping job satisfaction. Vince jumps in and says culture is a subjective thing. “I don’t think it can be measured or tracked as a reliable predictor of future bottom line performance. We need to stay focused on our new product line to maintain market leadership.”
Do any of these sound familiar?
In the latest addition to our TRANSFORM article series, Alistair Brown, Director of Taylor Clarke, Ltd. (UK) and Partner at Denison Europe, takes a hard look at the early challenges to corporate culture change. In it, he delineates:
- Three states of leadership readiness for engaging in intentional strategy and culture alignment.
- Five leadership barriers to early alignment of strategy and culture.
- Ten probing questions to engage the senior team in a “culture conversation.”
Aligning culture and strategy is a long-term journey requiring significant investment and a united leadership team that is both actively involved and clear about their own needs for personal change. Building leadership readiness to understand and truly embrace culture change is critical. In many ways, the early process of senior leader engagement determines the success of everything that follows.
Read more in Alistair’s new TRANSFORM article, “How ready is your leadership team to work on aligning culture and strategy?,” which provides an insightful, practical roadmap to priming your leadership team for the culture transformation process.