Is Your Corporate Culture Fueling or Sabotaging Growth?


A few of our clients have had DRAMA as part of their corporate cultures. You know the type. When a team member Corporate Culturemakes a suggestion, it is immediately perceived as an attack on someone else. When employees come into the office in the morning, they immediately tell one another stories about what went wrong on the home front. When a customer complains, the blame game starts plus the problem is blown way out of proportion. And no…they are not both family owned/operated businesses.

The leaders came to us as growth strategists to identify opportunities to speed up their growth. The opportunities were fairly easy to identify from the market (external) perspective. Competitors in both instances were leaving “money on the table” so there is “low hanging fruit” to be claimed. Large corporations have been taking their customer bases for granted, so there is tremendous opportunity for a customer-centric, quality-oriented competitor.

You guessed it, we are focusing on changing their corporate cultures.

IF the leadership teams each truly want their enterprises to accelerate growth, they both must address internal behaviors that interfere with innovation (instead of suggestions being stifled), quick response (instead of losing time to blaming one another), reassurance and trust (instead of exaggeration and a focus on the negative), welcoming optimism (rather than complaints and negativity).

Often corporate culture can be utilized as a leverage point for growth. When a company wins “BEST PLACES TO WORK” awards and has a reputation for investing in its employees, organic growth usually results.

A corporate culture of innovation or excellence can guide mergers and acquisitions. No matter what technology, production capacity or distribution channel drove the companies to combine, alignment of corporate cultures is needed to optimize the return on investment with mergers and acquisitions.

At IMC’s annual GROW! Conference in Las Vegas earlier this week, Dr. Charlotte Roberts provided an excellent presentation about MENTAL MODELS. (Roberts coauthored THE DANCE OF CHANGE and THE FIFTH DISCIPLINE FIELDBOOK.) One of her reminders was that corporate culture is the combination of the prominent mental models. Beliefs and premises are at the heart of mental models and corporate culture.

The lingering post-recession uncertainty, frustrations with Government, global terrorism, etc. have eroded the optimism of so many people in this world. It may be time for you to audit the beliefs, premises, mental models within your organization. When people are jumpy, convinced they might get fired, or waiting for the executives to make decisions, accelerated growth can’t be the first thing you tackle.

About Aldonna Ambler:
Known as The Growth Strategist®, Aldonna Ambler built and grew a suite of companies to help midsized B2B companies achieve accelerated growth with sustained profitability® A Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), Ambler has addressed over 2000 audiences and hosted a syndicated online talk show about growth strategies for 9 years. As a growth financing intermediary, Ambler raised over $1 Bil dollars for midsized companies. The winner of over 2 dozen prestigious national and statewide "entrepreneur of the year" awards, Ambler is available to speak about “profitable growth during any economy” and/or serve on the board of a growth-oriented privately-held company.

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