Culture Imperatives

If you’re still not sure about the affect company culture can have on employee behavior, take a look at Wells Fargo.  The bank, known for selling customers products they didn’t need, creating fake accounts, and inflating insurance premiums, still hasn’t been able to correct the culture that drove all that bad behavior.  

Cultures are driven from the top, so when a culture needs significant change, it’s best to bring in someone from the outside because the people inside will have a far more difficult time.  But even an outsider will have difficulty changing an ingrained culture.  Remember Kodak’s attempt to change culture by bringing in an outsider?  That didn’t go so well either.

To change a culture, two principles are imperative.  First, it needs to be driven from the very top of the company.  Second, every single person on the leadership team needs to understand what the change is, what the new values are, and which behaviors will demonstrate commitment to the change. 

If your company’s culture doesn’t align with your business strategy, better start working on changing the culture.  If you don’t want to take on the work of changing the culture, then change the strategy because when strategy goes up again culture, bet on the culture.

Finally, if you’re happy with your culture, do everything you can to protect it.

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