Four keys for managing corporate culture

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Martin, an employee like any other, inspected the promotional gift (merchandising) HR had left on his desk indifferently. This time it was a T-shirt blazed with “Our Vision and Our Goals”. A few weeks ago, it was a stress ball pimped with “Our values”. Martin didn’t know who he would give this one to.

Corporate culture, thought Martin. Two words in furor in companies these days which are frequently forgotten in a browser tab or on posters no one sees. Yet there are companies that know how to manage corporate culture, that are successful and competitive.

So what are the keys that make Corporate Culture in capitals stand out from a mere internal marketing campaign (endomarketing)? Martin checked out the blog and found the response, four keys for managing corporate culture:

1. A clear, measurable vision: defining with clarity who we are, what we do and how we will be competitive and profitable in a sustainable way. This vision is based on a mission with specific strategies and goals, which are, of course, communicated with clarity both within and outside the company.

2. A solid leadership: Sumantra Ghoshal’s quote stays with me: “You can’t manage third generation strategies with second generation organizations and first generation managers.” It is so important to have bosses that listen, delegate, demand, recognize and that help their teams grow. I’m lucky to know leaders like that, like my current boss, nothing like the corporate tyrant opportunists.

3. A competitive and committed team: People who make the vision theirs and that act towards achieving the objectives. Here I should mention Gary Hamel and his concept of Management 2.0. He maintains that successful companies opt for a new style of control, with natural hierarchies based on trust and leadership. Organizations where employees have more independence and access to information, thus encouraging their creativity.

4. Going from discourse to the facts: It is crucial to consolidate the corporate culture as we progress, communicating the milestones internally and externally and celebrating them as appropriate. A campaign of the facts, of achievements is an excellent way to value our corporate culture, generating credibility and affinity within and outside the company.

Martin, good luck.

Pablo Fuentes is internal communication manager at Telefónica Latin America. On his blog, you’ll find the best strategies and ideas for implementing communication 2.0 systems, as well as the latest trends in corporate communication.