By Terry Thompson and Jason Kipps:
In our last blog (Managing Corporate Culture – The Essential Factor for Success) we revealed how critical the role of the CEO was to building corporate culture. It will not be a surprise to learn that the one absolute truth relates to this conclusion. The absolute truth is that the CEO must be prepared to spend considerable time on the priority areas. Depending upon the CEO’s time commitments and skills, this can often involve a major behaviour change for him/her. Like any behaviour change (e.g. quitting smoking, eating better, exercising more, etc.) it requires a personal program that has a chance of working.
When it comes to developing corporate culture, the key to a behaviour change program for a CEO is to evaluate the gap that exists between your company’s current status and the target status. This can be accomplished by:
1. Articulating compelling vision and values
2. Having the riht talent (particularly managers) in place
3. Ensuring effective internal corporate communications
4. Evaluating the CEO’s potential time and skill shortfalls and Develop a critical path to eliminate these gaps over time.
It is important to take these steps one at a time. Like any behaviour change, the more drastic an immediate change in behaviour the less likely the desired goal will be realized. Accordingly, develop a plan that takes into account the realities of your current situation paying particular attention to time. In our case we approached it as follows:
1. We analyzed Terry’s CEO job description including his role re corporate culture priorities and then:
a) Determined how much time he should be spending in each key area
b) Determined how much time he was actually spending in each key area and where it was not the desired amount, the reasons for the discrepancy
c) Determined what steps to take to be more in line with the desired time spent (in the short run he just worked more hours in order to get the corporate culture initiative off the ground)
2. Terry upgraded the corporate vision/values and internal communication areas
3. We upgraded Terry’s knowledge and skills as to how to ensure that we had the right people and
4. We developed a plan re upgrading Terry’s people and executed on it
As a leader, if you cannot get control of your time and personal productivity your corporate vision, culture and human capital strategy will all suffer. In our next blog we will provide more details regarding how we approached #1 and #2 above. After that we will get into #3 upgrading the leader’s knowledge and #4 upgrading your talent.