“Baffled, humiliated, humbled”… the very public exposure of the Murdochs and some of their News Corp colleagues over the past few weeks has left senior executives in many organisations feeling decidedly uneasy. Whatever the truth of who knew what in News Corp, this is not the first case of a corporation being stopped in its tracks because customers, staff, investors or the community were being treated in a way that was clearly totally unacceptable, yet had somehow become the norm within the organisation. In most recent high-profile corporate disasters, independent investigations have identified dysfunctional cultures as being the cause of behaviours which have cost dear in money and reputation – and in some cases brought down the entire house of cards.
As a senior executive or Board member it is obviously impossible to know everything that is going on in your organisation – but how can you be as sure as you can that your phone hacking moment is not around the corner? Having that confidence relies upon active management of the organisation’s culture. Culture, like products, people, technology, brand and infrastructure, is core to what makes a business tick, and yet few businesses understand what drives it and how it is impacting on performance. Still fewer think and plan for how improving their culture will help improve performance. Read on →