Business Leaders in Glorious Transition

The entire world is in transition: Business must transition, too.

Here, you'll read contributions of my friends, other business professionals who are working to turn from their Mechanical Business Models to ever more profitable Organic Business Models.

You'll read their successes as well as their difficulties in making the transition from the hierarchical, control based practices characteristic of most of our years in business. You'll see how wonderfully profitable companies can be when they learn to tap the powerful creative energy of employees.

CJ Coolidge & Richard Squaredime - 2008

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Culture Shock--The Power of Leaders

Today I sipped my skinny latte and opened up my highly circulated copy of, what I call an aspiring CEO magazine, which was honoring its handpicked list of “TOP CEO’s”. I expected to find the usual list of prospects and was pleasantly surprised to see that the CEO of the year was awarded to Anne Mulcahy, of Xerox.

This is a step in the right direction for all businesses large and small. Not just because she paves the way for other women, who according Fortune magazine in 2006, lead only 4% of fortune 500 companies; But that she values company culture and credits it in part for the successful turnaround of Xerox. With many opposed, during a firestorm of troubles, Mulcahy took a risk and continued to invest in research and development, which was consistent with the company mission and culture.

You see, Mulcahy gets it! With what the magazine calls “no formal” executive coaching or grooming for her role as CEO, I likely credit it to her eight years of serving as the head of Human Resources. An area often considered having no ROI. I’m certainly not suggesting that we all invest millions of dollars in R&D. What I am saying is that now is time to evaluate the culture we have created, or possibly haven’t created, and use it to our advantage. Give your HR folks a chance. You might find out that their ideas can enhance your business offering.

You can find thousands of books and courses on developing leaders and there’s merit to doing so if you have established a foundation to walk on. At the end of the day, regardless of the size of your company, you build the culture. It bleeds from the top and the trickle is felt each day by your end user. Isn’t it time to evaluate your culture?

Michelle Petersen is the President of Strategic Learning Solutions, a national company dedicated to the development of human capital.

1 comment:

Mimi Meredith said...

Great point, Michelle. The culture is created, whether or not leaders are aware of what they are allowing to trickle down. When the direction of the corporate culture is strategically guided, it can support all other corporate initiatives. Critical to the success of that foundation is the inclusion of human resources and internal communication. Without drawing upon that expertise and using those channels, it's like a sea captain choosing to set sail without a sextant or a compass. He may know where he wants to go and why, but he forgot the resources that provide the feedback to direct his course.