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Transforming your culture: the five guiding principles


Companies such as Facebook, Google, Cisco and IBM not only offer shining examples of innovation – they are also models for strong corporate culture, writes Kispert for Chiefexecutive.net.

While Kispert acknowledges that the cornerstone of a company culture is that it’s unique, he insists there are five guiding principles that can be used to transform a company’s culture, driving employee engagement and profits in the process:

1) Listen first. Employees must embrace the changing culture and they must feel part of the process if they are to participate and commit to the cause.

Kispert points out that several studies directly link happy employees with higher revenue, but he believes the most effective way to satisfy workers is to make them feel valued by the company.

Listen to the many and varied perspectives of employees to help you shape decisions and work towards outcomes that benefit your particular business.

2) Be mutually accountable. Kispert writes: “People want autonomy, to direct their own lives, and to feel like they have a purpose. Giving them more responsibilities and challenges gives them the power to be accountable to each other in order to succeed. Being accountable ensures employees accept the responsibility to deliver against commitments."

3) Empower and excite. Most people know how demotivating it can be to work for leaders who control, doubt and criticise. This leads to companies losing good people. Effective leaders appeal to emotion as well as logic. If a manager empowers someone and gives them encouragement and support, that person will work harder.

4) Be open and trusting. The battles should be with your competitors, not inside your own company. Stronger teams and accountability are build by trust and communication within the organisation.

5) Be decisive and take risks. Decisiveness is essential if you are to translate your goals and vision into reality. Kispert warns that taking too long to transform your culture could lead to missing out on your next big opportunity.