Pretend you’re me. You’re now in charge of running JPC. Here are some actual requests from clients who need your help solving a problem or delivering a desired business outcome. What would you do with these scenarios?
||This client’s strategy is acquiring companies to create one enterprise. On paper, they’ve done that. In reality, they have several distinct cultures, different business philosophies, conflicting operating procedures, and business lines that each think they’re the most important.
We learned early on that most employees loved the CEO’s idea of tearing down the “Berlin Wall” between their sister-companies. Taking that idea and turning it into reality was where they got stuck. Committing to a common goal required giving up some individual and LOB identity. "We are unique" had to change to "we are stronger together." They loved the idea of organizing into, and functioning as, one enterprise. To remedy this, we designed a special culture transformation summit and brought the top leaders from across the enterprise together in a shared meeting (a rarity in those days). The CEO’s keynote and every topic, activity and agenda item was carefully crafted to meet three critical objectives:
Unlike any other rollout, leaders throughout the enterprise were given a unified set of rollout tools that were branded as one company, and designed to be components of a single, enterprise-wide, implementation strategy. There were concurrent efforts taking place within each company, and cross-company teams were created for grass roots activities to facilitate and reinforce the transformation. Culture elements, such as a new shared organizational vision and a common set of core values, helped create a palpable movement within the organization to come together. The resulting energy, excitement and sense of purpose took on a life of its own, and this energy helped bypass any interference tactics thrown up by uncooperative factions. By the end of the implementation period, the small number of leaders and employees who just couldn’t get on board with the new direction left. Those who stayed were committed; their contribution was nothing less than creating a new organization.
- Clarify that joining together as one organization was not optional.
- Educate leaders about the direction in which the company was already heading, emphasizing each leader's pivotal role in leading this strategic change.
- Invite each leader to carefully evaluate the information provided, and ask them to make a personal decision about whether or not they could embrace and commit to the new organization being created.