Impenetrable Cultures


Note: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive!

This week’s focus: culture

Fourteen of us joined a manufacturing company as vice presidents with a new CEO as part of a significant transformation effort with major growth initiatives:

  • increase our market share in North America
  • increase global market presence and penetration
  • implement mass customization to promote efficiencies across the enterprise and into our dealer channel
  • implement a lean kaizen process

There were issues that never surfaced during the interview process:

  • the company had a long history of turning over its entire executive team every 18-24 months
  • the employees demonstrated repeatedly that, if they could stall or delay change initiatives, those initiatives would soon pass with the departure of the executive team–it was as predictable as the sun rising every day

No one seemed responsible for addressing the culture issues. And, without a culture shift, we had little hope of creating sustainable and dramatic change. Most of us were gone in the normal cycle of executive turnover.

As my mentor, Dr. Alan Weiss offers:

“Culture is merely a set of beliefs which governs behavior. Change the core belief systems and you change the culture. Simple (or as difficult) as that.”

He’s right. Culture is a key ingredient in accelerating growth that is too easily overlooked. It need not be.

 Photo Credit: Tony Bowden, Flickr, Ivangorod Fortress on the Russian side of the border from Estonia Ivangorod Fortress

Thought for the week:

“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.”  -Peter Drucker
What do you think? I welcome your comments!


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