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Achieving Excellence through Culture Change 83

Founding your corporate culture is a crucial task, and could mean the difference between an allied band of staff and a divided team of opposites.

When we go back to 2005 the SHRM Culture Study already stated that,

Companies with strong, formally articulated values that are focused on the needs of their constituencies have an important advantage over those without such values.

Using American Express as a case study at that time, the report went on to say the credit card company has “developed a strong sense of itself and what it stands for, [with] core values that have become an invaluable asset.

But what if you are faced with the task of reforming your already established culture? 

This is one of the topics our founder discussed at the @HRMExpo #zp15 in Cologne, Germany.

Although it can be a time-consuming and difficult change, it’s critical in company development and this should not be seen as a bad thing, after all, industries develop so quickly due to advancements in technology, law and community that we should all re-assess our image from time to time.

If your organization has a constant stream of new management, or conflicting management styles, you will find yourself in a position of compromise between differing minds.

Allowing both sides to share ideas is key, and even if they cannot reach an agreement, you can use your better judgement as a mediator to influence worthwhile change. This can be especially difficult as a brand image needs time to develop, so try and stick to a few basic principles while allowing wiggle room for other ideas.

The first step in redefining your culture is developing your strategy.

If you intend to completely overhaul your brand’s visual identity (your company logo, website look, etc) be prepared for it to take some time and many, many meetings. Changing it too quickly can isolate your customers who simply don’t recognize you anymore. If part of your culture change is developing how your company’s mission is seen publically, be prepared to do some solid research.

Redefining your organization’s values can be difficult too, and may produce some negativity from those already in your team. It’s important to consider how these changes will affect them, and whether or not changing too much too quickly will detach your talent. Sometimes you will be forced to change your corporate values, due to issues in the media, political pressure or social change.

Establish a few basic values that you cannot change, and work upwards from there. Your corporate culture will outline the way you interact with your team, and how your team interacts with your clients – do not neglect to fully educate them on your brand objectives. This approach is what we should strive to achieve in our own organizations – a strong, visible identity that can stand the test of time.

(c) New To HR.

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4 thoughts on “Achieving Excellence through Culture Change

  1. I think that the key to redefining your company’s culture is getting through to management on what is expected of how they handle their employees. Change how that starts happening and you can start building teams of dedicated workers who want to do good for their company.

  2. Having a strong identity is the key to success. We often talk about this on an individual level, but it is also useful on the corporate level. I think that if you are going to try and redefine your company’s culture and identity, it is very important to do things gradually and methodically.

  3. I think to redefine your company’s culture, you need a strong mission statement. It needs to have strong, ethical values that everyone can follow without contest. A company, also, needs to view their employees as individuals. So many in corporate don’t know the names of the people working in their franchises and that needs to change.

  4. Redefining yourself can be liberating. If you have a not so great reputation, it can give you a fresh new start as well as restore faith in some employees and customers lost that some positive changes have occurred and you are starting with a clean slate. Either way, looking more professional usually gives everyone a boost.

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