Bill Watkins, the current CEO of Seagate was quoted in a recent San Jose Mercury News interview about his efforts at turning Seagate around. He says that you have to change the corporate culture in order to make positive changes in a company. And the way to change and shape culture is to communicate stories about a company.
Q "What shapes company culture?
A Culture gets created by the stories you tell in a company. It's almost like urban legends. If you think about HP (Hewlett-Packard) -- they used to tell the stories of Bill and Dave coming in and talking to you. Then they would talk about Carly, and then the stories became about hair dressers and jets.
That starts to define it."
In addition to expressing positive stories, events, and ideals about a company, it is also the "actions" of the people that shape the culture. An effective manager that tells the story of Bill and Dave walking around, must also walk around, meet the employee, listen and talk about their problems and issues.
Extending the dialog and action to consultants, vendors, contractors, supplies, etc., "extends" the culture beyond the boundaries of the company itself... effectively building a broader business culture, building better business relationships and building empowered business communities.