In one of our previous articles, “Why your culture stinks & what to do about it right now,” we revealed how critical the role of the CEO was to developing a compelling employment brand and building corporate culture. It will not be a surprise to learn that the one absolute truth relates to this conclusion. The absolute truth is that the CEO must be prepared to spend considerable time on the priority areas. Depending upon the CEO’s time commitments and skills, this can often involve a major behavior change for him/her. For any behavior change (e.g. quitting smoking, eating better, exercising more, etc.) to be successful, behavioral change requires a personal program to have a chance of working.
When it comes to developing corporate culture, the key to a behavioral change program for a CEO is to evaluate the gap that exists between the company’s current status and the target status of the culture and cultural brand. This can be accomplished by:
It is important to take these steps one at a time. Like any behavioral change, the more drastic an immediate change in behavior the less likely the desired goal will be realized. Accordingly, the CEO will need to develop a plan that takes into account the realities of their current situation paying particular attention to time. Here is a brief behavioral change program for CEO’s and organizational leaders:
Analyze your job description including your role in corporate culture priorities and then:
a) Determine how much time should be spent in each key area
b) Determine how much time is actually being spent in each key area and where it was not the desired amount, the reasons for the discrepancy
c) Determine what steps to take to be more in line with the desired time spent (in the short run this may just require more hours in order to get the corporate culture and brand initiative off the ground)
Upgrade the corporate vision/values and internal communication areas to reflect the new vision
If required, upgrade recruitment and selection knowledge and skills to ensure that you can play a role in getting the right leadership talent in the right roles (do not delegate this to HR)
Develop a plan to upgrade leadership and management talent and execute it.
As a leader, if you cannot get control of your time and personal productivity your corporate vision, cultural brand and human capital strategy will all suffer.
By Jason Kipps and Terry Thompson
About the author
Jason is Head of Universum Canada