Corporate culture is a combination of beliefs, policies, and procedures that compose a behavioral pattern which the people of the organization follow, in order to achieve business objectives. It gives an organization a personality. Every organization has a different personality and culture. Some are dynamic and flexible, open to take risks and accept changes while some are backward and rigid towards the change.
Famous minds around the world support the change. John F. Kennedy once truly said, ‘Change is the law of life.’ Robert E- Quinne, the expert in positive organizational change and the author of the best-selling volume ‘Deep Change’ quoted, “Change is a reflection of inner growth and empowerment.” A well-known Latin writer Publilius Syrus who belongs to an age before Christ knew the importance of change even in that era. He preached, saying, ‘It is a bad plan that admits no modification.
Today, business is changing at a rapid pace. People who conduct business and people towards whom business is targeted are changing. The business channels, policies, models, environment, government, everything in and around the business world is changing. And therefore, every business organization must embrace this change and modify their culture, accordingly, for stainable development.
Here are some internal and external factors enforces a company to adopt a cultural change:
- To improve company’s business performance
- To recover declining profits and revenues
- To control inadequate ROI
- To improve standards of customer service and product quality
- Changes in market scenario
- Introduction of new legal policies
- Arrival of a new government
- Change in ownership
- Change in leadership
- Economic condition
In the year 2012, Antony Jenkins became the CEO of Barclays and in the same year, the company’s name was linked to a financial scandal. Antony took an instant charge to restore the company’s reputation which was spoilt due to unethical and illegal actions committed by some employees. He launched Project Transform and the message was ‘Clean up or Clear-off’. Through it, he started a strategic move in order to bring a change within the organization’s culture. He said, ‘My message to those people is simple: Barclays is not the place for you. The rules have changed. You won’t feel comfortable at Barclays and, to be frank, we won’t feel comfortable with you as colleagues”. Jenkins knew the need of cultural change within his organization for re-establishing the company’s name.
In the same year, Sony too went through a transition. Owing to the cut-throat competition in electronic technology, Sony faced tremendous hurdles and to overcome these hurdles Sony’s newly appointed CEO Kazou Hirai thought to bring a cultural change in the organization. Here, the strategic agenda was clear. In Tokyo, when he took over the CEO’s role, he said, “Sony must change. Sony will change.”
Both of these leaders modified their corporate culture and guided their organizations in strategic directions. In the case of Barclays, the cultural change came because of an internal problem and in the case of Sony the company adopted a change in their culture because of the growing competition which is an external factor.
Though their reasons were different, both these examples considered cultural change as a need to attain progress.