Elements of the CIM Navigator:
Culture counts. In a global company that attempts to drive strategic initiatives and innovate from different places of the organization, a strong corporate culture in combination with a clear worldwide identity is the glue that holds it all together. It is at the heart of competitive advantage as it determines how things are done and how people interact.
A company’s culture, the beliefs, values and principles and the ensuing behaviours are a consequence of its heritage. These beliefs are shared and give the company its unique personality and strength. At the same time they may not be completely conscious and articulated and cannot easily be copied by competitors. Outsiders may wonder for example “how do these guys manage to come up with technical innovations so regularly?”
Strengths can sometimes turn into obstacles, however. A strong centralized engineering culture may not be so good at learning from markets and cooperating with colleagues from other cultures. To support tomorrow’s strategic needs and avoid contradictions and obstacles for new directions, a culture needs to evolve. Old strengths should not be discarded, but new ones have to be developed alongside and meld with them in new ways. This is best achieved by focussing on concrete new behaviours that are formulated, modelled and supported by the company’s leadership. Posters with statements about values are useless unless they are translated into concrete behaviours that are really put into practice.
Culture change, just as changes of structures and systems, does not necessarily need to happen right away at the level of the entire organization. It is easier to develop new sets of practices with new initiatives and newly set up teams and gradually spread it from there.
Every organizational culture is unique. Yet, companies with a global high performance culture share some characteristics: They foster a climate of trust and open dialogue. They are oriented outwards to maximize learning from customers, markets and other sources. They manage to mobilize and engage employees for the corporate cause so that they are passionate about achieving and speaking up for their convictions. Their employees have a bias for action and make and execute good decisions. They are connected and foster a strong team spirit and a focus on contribution. They have a way to encourage experimentation, learning and innovating.
We help you to assess whether these or any other characteristics that might be necessary for your global success are a living reality throughout your company or what obstacles need to be overcome.