Cultural development

What impact will it have on your business results and on your reputation in the market, if all your employees truly embraced the following?

  • Demonstrating an entrepreneurial spirit
  • Acting with true commitment to providing outstanding service
  • Challenging each other mutually to strive for improvement
  • Showing solidarity and forward-thinking in their communication
  • Carrying out their work with joy and motivation
  • Treating other people and the environment with care and esteem

The result would be a thumbs up, no question. You may perhaps reply that only a dreamer would aspire to such qualities. It is, however, a fact that the importance of a company’s culture is gaining increasing recognition – and this applies across the board, from multinational corporations to local SMEs. What’s more, you can hardly deny that you would like to work in a place which radiates vitality, joie de vivre and zest for action, and where employees and customers feel they are treated with esteem and are able to have full trust and confidence in their boss.

The risk of getting your priorities wrong: business first, culture last

It would certainly seem that the right time to embark on the process of cultural development is when your company has adopted a new business model, a new strategic direction or has undergone restructuring. However, our experience has shown us that in the regular working day there is always some matter more urgent or more critical for business that leads us to put off dealing with cultural issues. As a result, the right time never comes – our attention remains firmly focused on the business, and as a consequence, sooner or later we will be pushed out of the market by a competitor who is culturally fitter. That is why it is in your interests to prioritize cultural issues early on.

Your cultural transformation to a meaningful target scenario

Working on your corporate culture gives a strong boost to your identity and sense of purpose. This is why culture should never be considered in isolation, but always in the context of the company’s global development. The latter is influenced by three factors which are critical for the long-term success of your company:

  • A meaningful future (vision – the Direction dimension): Why?
  • Values that are truly embraced, strong teamwork and trust (Culture dimension): How?
  • Successful products and processes (Business dimension): What?

This is summarized in the illustration below.

These three core factors influence each other, and they are all important for success. So essentially, your company’s success depends on having strong, convincing answers to the following questions: Why does your company exist? What benefits does your company provide to the customers? And how do you achieve all this?

Your transformation journey from the status quo is essentially determined by the quality and appeal of the desired state. The challenge lies in getting yourself and your management team to start switching on to the desired state right now, so that you come to embody it, generating a magnetic effect that rubs off on others. The better able you are to convey the meaning and purpose of your target scenario and actively involve your employees in working out the details of the vision, the more momentum you will generate in your company.

Defining guiding values and putting them into practice

In order to further develop your unique corporate culture, you need to determine which elements have made your company successful in its development so far. Then you need to add the qualities you would like to enhance, or new qualities you would like to introduce. On this basis you will work with your leadership team in an intensive process to determine exactly what are your guiding values. Together you will develop a concrete code of conduct (dos and don’ts) aimed at making your values more relevant in the routine working day. You will grow your awareness of values in workshops with exercises covering a wide range of specific business situations. In addition, you will develop a common language which further strengthens the unique nature of your company. On top of that, in targeted culture workshops you will develop your own unique repertoire of techniques for enhancing your cultural competence. Cultural competence is manifest in the following:

  • The ability to reflect on how you interact with your own values and with the company values.
  • Communication skills to skillfully address issues relating to values.
  • Taking responsibility and influencing others on value issues.
  • Social abilities used to address behavior which reflects the values (e.g. praise and encouragement) or is contrary to the values (e.g. aligning perceptions, giving critical feedback).

By building the cultural competence of your management team and workforce, you will strengthen your identity, which in turn enhances the charisma of your company. As a natural consequence, this will enhance your power to attract customers as well as talented managers and specialists.

Balancing cultural issues with branding and incentives

As long as your incentives system has a one-sided focus on performance and cost parameters, your culture program is doomed to fail. As long as a ruthless “me first” mentality or a one-dimensional approach to optimizing your own area are rewarded with bonuses, the values you wish to promote will not have much impact on everyday operations. This is why it is important to ensure that branding activities, evaluation systems, management tools and incentive systems are aligned coherently with your vision and values. To achieve this, Trans-In offers a constructive support process – usually in collaboration with your HR department.

Cultural development as an all-encompassing process

Research in the field of neurobiology shows that it takes up to nine months for a person to internalize and fully embrace a new habit. So how long will it take for your entire company – from the CEO down to each individual employee – to establish new habits? The answer is two to five years – depending on your company’s current level of cultural fitness. That is why we build on long-term processes which yield benefits in the medium to long term. The starting point for your cultural development may be an analysis of your current cultural state which reveals important strengths and weaknesses. Based on your needs, we will develop a pilot program for a selected division, for the executive board or for a particular group. Over time the program will be expanded to other levels, until the whole company is involved. Finally, the process culminates in a train-the-trainer program, enabling you to lead and further cultivate the cultural competence entirely in-house. This way you can be sure that the cultural and leadership competence you have developed is anchored in your company in the medium to long term. Get in touch with us now, and take the first step towards a breakthrough in your company culture.

Make a breakthrough in your company culture.

Testimonials of our clients

Dr. Urs Meyer

Head of Business Area Grid, Member of the Executive Board at Centralschweizerische Kraftwerke AG

“Thanks to its strong presence, clarity and empathy, Trans-In is able to create an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust. As a result, our management team’s initial skepticism was transformed into openness and solidarity. The transformation process made us aware of the richness of our own assets, and united us in our common direction. From this position of clarity, openness and strength we were able to stand and face the impending challenges together. Trans-In discusses workshop concepts carefully in advance, undertakes comprehensive preparation and commands the experience and flexibility needed to address current issues that may come up in the workshop according to the situation. Trans-In puts the central focus on people, and knows how to get things moving where it really counts.”

Trans-In AG – Leadership zum Wesentlichen

Fraumünsterstrasse 17
8001 Zürich

Trans-In AG

Fraumuensterstrasse 17
8001 Zuerich
Switzerland