There is an undeniable link between culture, strategy and a company’s results. A strong and aligned culture has been proven to supercharge a company’s competitive advantage and in turn increase sales, customer satisfaction, profits and reducing employee turnover.
At the same time, a poor or misaligned culture can be catastrophic for a company. Many of the recent corporate disasters can be traced back to its culture which enabled, perhaps even supercharged, the very act or acts that brought about devastating results for the company, its customers, its employees and owners.
As Andersen alumni, we know this all too well. A strong culture is the very glue that holds this alumni association together, almost 16 years after the demise of our firm. That culture catapulted the firm to the pinnacle of the professional service industry. The ingrained culture to serve our clients was the cornerstone of the firm. However, we know that a misapplication of this very culture can be catastrophic.
I have been blessed to work for a number of companies that viewed culture as one of their most valuable assets. In addition, when my own values aligned with the companies’ values and culture, this truly provided the optimum work environment for me both personally and professionally.
The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) recently published a series of articles on “Reconstructing the Board’s Role in Culture”. The NACD established a blue-ribbon commission to explore this topic. I encourage you to read these studies. It is applicable as a board member and as a member of management. Every company has a culture. The question is: is it the one I want or the one I have?
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