Published on May 29, 2013 by Guest Blogger
Changing the culture of a business is easier said than done. I was reminded of the challenges by a recent article written by a former colleague in a HR magazine*.
Certain behaviors become deeply ingrained in the culture of businesses, as newer employees learn from their more experienced colleagues. Certain approaches, which may have served managers well in the past, could be counter-productive or inefficient in a different era. It can be extremely difficult to alter deeply entrenched attitudes about “how we do business around here” and “what matters to the company.”
We have observed that some of our clients have used our services as a catalyst for onshore cultural change. One example was an asset manager that had grown through acquisition and faced difficulties establishing common branding in the marketplace. By lifting out the production of marketing materials on a global basis, and by giving the work to a single supplier conversant with the regulatory and technical requirements of each market, the client was able to quickly move toward providing an integrated global face to the business. Both content and presentation styles were centralized, ensuring an integrated approach to branding and knowledge sharing.
Another client encountered resistance from the research team to the imposition of common accounting conventions required by the global earnings database. While this large investment bank poured millions of dollars into the creation of the database system, it had too many data inconsistencies and the firm was left far behind competition on this front. By involving in the models database design work and the detailed models mapping work, the firm not only benefited from our accounting, financial modeling, and database construction expertise, but also overcame the internal political battles in trying to develop an in-house solution.
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