Jacqueline was excited to have reached a major career milestone: she had been selected to become the CEO of a major trading company. In the weeks leading up to her first day in her dream position, Jacqueline spent a lot of time reflecting on how she could make a significant, positive impact on the organisation.
A poll by Progress-U on 40 CEOs in Asia showed the top ambition of a majority was leaving a positive legacy that transcended their time. Developing a strong corporate success culture enables a more successful strategy, leading to improved results. As corporate culture doesn’t change overnight, the positive effects last beyond a CEO’s tenure.
Jacqueline wanted to find out what kind of culture would best serve her new employer and what she could do about it.
First, it is important to gain clarity about an organisation’s vision, mission and values in order to be able to determine the culture that would best enable it to achieve its ambitions. It is vital to ensure alignment among the top management team when describing the optimal culture.
Next, a leadership competency model must be designed, as cultural transformation is mostly achieved through leadership and changes in systems, policies and procedures.
Current culture must be continuously measured to identify gaps between optimal and current culture. This allows targeted measures such as leadership development, system adjustments and communication strategies to be executed. Also, it is critical to adjust recruitment and onboarding processes to ensure the right people for that culture are hired.
Finally, continuously review and adjust what is considered an optimal culture as ambitions and the business environment will change over the years.
Jacqueline realised that achieving a significant cultural transformation is a multi-year project that takes significant effort and energy. She also found that developing a strong and successful culture as a legacy to be highly rewarding.