“I came to see, in my decade at IBM, that culture isn’t just one aspect of the game – it is the game.”
“Advertising is a tax you pay on having an unremarkable culture.” Robert Stephens, Founder of Geek Squad
“ There is a correlation between clearly articulated and lived culture and strong business performance [but most people do not believe that their culture is upheld in their organizations.]” - Deloitte
Culture will have a significant impact on your future bottom line.
Your bottom line next year will largely be determined by your current strategies; your bottom line in the following years will be more influenced by your current culture.
“Every organization has a culture. Unfortunately, many, if not most, cultures develop by happenstance...” Pamela Bilbrey and Brian Jones: Ordinary Greatness: It’s Where You Least Expect It... Everywhere
What is culture? The personality and the character of your organization.
What is culture? The cumulative attitudes and behaviors of your employees.
Culture doesn’t change unless people do.
A key point! Culture is morally neutral. Enron had a powerful culture.
What sort of cultural environment would I feel if I worked for your organization?
Or energy drain?
It’s not culture or strategy, but rather how the two can complement and reinforce each other.
Your organization has a strategic plan – but do you have a culture plan?
Top Ten Culture Stories
Story #1 Greatest startup: Zappos
Your culture is your brand! - Tony Hsieh
Getting a job at the Zappos call center is more competitive than gaining admission to Harvard
Story #2 Greatest turnaround: Starbucks
A resilient culture was more important than new strategies in saving Starbucks
“The only assets we have as a company [are] our values, our culture and guiding principles, and the reservoir of trust with our people.” Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz in Harvard Business Review, July-August 2010
Story #3 Most endearing culture: Patagonia
People don’t go to work for Patagonia because they love stuffing down coats into boxes!
Story #4 Culture that competes with love and fun: Southwest Airlines
Southwest Airlines didn’t earn the highest loyalty in the industry with its bags fly free and fuel price hedging strategies
Same business Different cultures
All the major air carriers copied the Southwest business model: but they all failed the culture test.
Story #5 Culture that puts people first: Costco
Same business Different cultures
People pay to shop at Costco…
People shop at Wal-Mart because they don’t have to dress up like they do for the Dollar Store.
Wal-Mart’s culture of low price at any cost has come at a huge cost to the company.
Wal-Mart has spent over $100 million on the investigation of bribery and other ethics scandals.
Sam Walton would be rolling over in his grave!
Story #6 Culture that shot itself in the foot: United Airlines
Not fixing Dave Carroll’s guitar cost United $millions
Not to mention the damage to the company’s already bad reputation for customer service…
And the airline’s already troubled employee relations (they are the ones taking the brunt of customer ire).
Within four days of the video being posted more than a million people viewed it and United’s stock price dropped 10%, costing shareholders $180 million.
“We have hundreds if not thousands of examples…” 816,911
Dave has since done two more United Breaks Guitars videos* and written a book. * Now with more than 20 million views
Story #7 Greatest culture crash-and-burn: Hostess
The fingers are all pointing in the wrong direction
What really killed Hostess was a culture of labor- management hostility.
Story #8 Killing the golden egg laying goose: Home Depot
Nardelli’s hard-fisted GE strategies increased sales, profits, and stock price…
At the cost of violating its people-centric values and ability to compete for the best talent.
Home Depot’s board wanted so badly to get rid of Nardelli that they paid him a quarter of a billion dollars just to make him go away!
Story #9 The Values Collaborative and the Values and Culture Challenge
“I got a whole new team and didn’t have to change any of the people.” Paul Utemark, CEO Fillmore County Hospital
Story #10 The greatest culture change story of all time
Are you old enough to remember these days?
Back then people smoked everywhere !
When Dr. C. Everett Koop called for a smoke-free society in 1986 it was an “impossible” goal
What happens to someone who lights up in a public place today?
We don’t need to tell people they can’t smoke in our buildings or discipline them when they do – coworkers will take care of that
Top Ten Culture Change Strategies
Strategy #1 Start with core values.
The McKinsey 7-S Framework
“Committable core values that are truly integrated into a company’s operations can align an entire organization and serve as a guide for employees to make their own decisions.” Tony Hsieh: Delivering Happiness
A great statement of organizational values: Defines identity Taps into emotions Inspires action Aligns with personal values Promotes & recruits
Memorial Hospital of Converse County Douglas, Wyoming
Posted version CompassionAdvocacyRespectExcellence
CompassionAdvocacyRespectExcellence Group version IntegrityEnthusiasmLoyaltyStewardshipOwnershipFun
Certified Values Trainers – Sidney Regional Medical Center
Created by Values Trainers at Fillmore County Hospital
Strategy #2 Assess your current culture (but first, take off your rose- colored glasses).
Where would your organization fall on the A-O Continuum?
Strategy #3 Establish attitude and behavioral expectations, including your zero-tolerance behaviors such as bullying and rumor-mongering.
“… backbiting, petty scandal, misrepresentation, flirtation, injustice, bad temper, bad thoughts, jealousy, murmuring, complaining. Do we ever think that we bear the responsibility of all the harm we do in this way?” Florence Nightingale to her Nurses
Strategy #4 Define your culture in a memorable 6-word phrase.
This guy made a fortune with just 6 words
104 From a large medical products company
105 Version 1 Global company driven by motivated individuals
106 Version 2 Great company, often own worst enemy
107 Version 3 Process driven crisis management creating dysfunction
108 From a large academic medical center
109 Version 1 Heartfelt commitment unifies a dynamic culture
110 Version 2 Sailing in turbulent waters rudders aligned
111 Version 3 Dedicated employees deflated by overwhelming obstacles
How can managers working in the same organization have such differing perceptions!?!?
Entrepreneurial small business We’re tough We’re focused We win
Strategy #5 Define your culture in a book title and back cover blurb.
What do these CEO book titles tell prospective employees about their cultures?
If your CEO wrote a book about the culture of your organization, what would the title of that book be?
If people who work in your organization saw it in a bookstore window, would they recognize that it was about them?
A hypothetical example
Book title Yahoo! From Stultified to Electrified The Cultural Revolution that Woke Up a Sleeping Giant!
Back cover blurb on current culture A stultified organization paralyzed by boring meetings and calcified bureaucracy, coasting on past glories, missed out on Web 2.0 and yielded the field to Google, Facebook, and other upstarts.
Back cover blurb on ideal culture A brash young CEO banned useless meetings, brought down silo walls, imposed accountability and rattled the cages of bureaucrats to inject a sense of urgency. Yahoo! has remembered its heritage and is once again looking through the windshield instead of the rearview mirror.
Strategy #6 Adopt The Pickle Challenge.
The Pickle Challenge has taken on a life of its own!
129 Harlan County Hospital Brodstone Memorial Hospital
Alverno Clinical Laboratories
White River Health System
The Pickle Challenge at Select Medical Central Billing Office
The Pickle Challenge at Star Valley Medical Center in Afton, WY
The pickle party at the Battle Creek VA Medical Center
Strategy #7 Use metaphors to capture your essential cultural characteristics.
Metaphors can shape identity; what metaphor would you use to describe the ideal culture of your organization?
Strategy #8 Use the Culture Mapping Schematic to map out plans for actions you can take to promote a stronger culture of ownership.
What we want: Identify why you want a culture of ownership. In this example, the goal is to enhance loyalty.
What it takes: Any characteristic in the second ring will enhance loyalty, but we are going to focus on pride.
How we do it: Any action in the outer ring will enhance pride, we are going to focus on values.
Strategy #9 Buy the Cultural Blueprinting Toolkit – and attend one of the Cultural Blueprinting Workshops free.
Module #1: Engagement and a Culture of Ownership Module #2: Invisible Architecture™ Module #3: Foundation of Values Module #4: Superstructure of Culture Module #5: Interior of Attitude Module #6: Values-Based Leadership
Strategy #10 Subscribe to the weekly Culture Mechanic Advisory Service.
Top Ten Key Success Factors
Key Success Factor #1 Absolute commitment of the senior leadership team (solid in determination, flexible in approach).
Key Success Factor #2 Enthusiastic participation of middle management team (this is the antidote to “program of the month” syndrome).
Key Success Factor #3 A growing core of Spark Plug people at every level of the organization.
Key Success Factor #4 Clear employment of the WIIFM (What’s in it for me) Factor.
Key Success Factor #5 Make it fun.
Key Success Factor #6 Start from where you are and be authentic – develop your ideal culture rather than trying to copy that of someone else.
Key Success Factor #7 Gain escape velocity and achieve critical mass as quickly as possible.
Key Success Factor #8 Plow through the inevitable resistance.
Key Success Factor #9 Move from a culture of optionality to a culture of ownership.
You cannot allow people to opt-out of your defined culture!
Key Success Factor #10 Engage a wider community. From an I received yesterday “I’m not sure if you remember talking about the root beer floats, and someone in the room had made the joke about wanting root beer floats from their employer. Either way, members of the Converse County Bank ended up paying it forward and sending root beer floats to Solutions for Life (the ones who made the joke). Solutions for Life then paid it forward to the Douglas Police Department.”
Responses to Questions
Question #1 How do we deal with the people who, either actively or passive-aggressively, try to sabotage efforts to foster a more positive culture?
Question #2 How do we maintain cultural momentum?
And one last thing…
You might personally be the ultimate beneficiary of a cultural transformation initiative…
“Leaders reported that working… to create a new culture was also personally transformative – a renewed awareness of their unique gifts of communication, understanding, curiosity, presence, heart or wisdom.” Barbara Kimball: “Cultural Transformation in Healthcare,” a report from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
“Building a culture of engagement within your organization is your way as a leader to leave an incredibly powerful legacy – one that will positively influence the lives of everyone you work with, now and into the future.” Paul Spiegelman and Britt Berrett: Patients Come Second: Leading Change by Changing the Way you Lead
Management is a job description… Leadership is a life decision.
To learn more about what Values Coach can do for your organization, contact Michelle Arduser: