Monday, August 15, 2005

What creates business culture, business relations?

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."
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/12331063.htm


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.

2 comments:

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Dee McCrorey said...

Good post, Steve. Absolutely, whether building a company culture from the ground up or attempting to change a corporate culture, it's critical for leaders (not just the execs) to walk their talk. People pay close attention to what we say and what we DO.

Working with companies to help them implement a more entrepreneurial environment begins with the leadership team. Buy-in begins at this point.