Is Your Culture as Strong as You Think? Lessons from Leaders Who Failed

Is Your Culture as Strong as You Think

Is Your Culture as Strong as You Think?
The real business of corporations is making decisions…the big strategic decisions about what sets you apart to the small decisions about when to hold the next team meeting.  There are hundreds of large and small decisions made every day.

How Are Decision Made?
The question is…how are decisions made? Are there guidelines to follow in the process? And, more importantly, are there corporate values that provide a framework for decision making that will drive every decision toward the right, and away from the wrong, choice?

Two Scandals – Is Your Culture as Strong as You Think?
Two scandals in the news recently make one wonder about the state of corporate cultures and values in the world today. Both show a shocking disregard for ethics or for the safety and well-being of the company’s consumers.

1.  Outbreak of Salmonella and the Peanut Corporation of America
The first scandal dates back to 2008 when an outbreak of salmonella that killed 9 and sickened over 700 was traced back to peanut butter paste that ended up in snack products widely distributed within the US. Finally in 2015 the CEO of the Peanut Corporation of America was brought to trial and the sentence handed down…28 years in prison for knowingly distributing tainted food.

One commentator said that then-CEO Parnell probably did not intend to kill people but “he just ran his business in a way that caused a lot of injury and some deaths.”

2.  Pollution Cheating and VW
The second was the revelation that Volkswagen was caught cheating on US air pollution tests. The company installed software that could detect when smog tests were being conducted. The software operated the emissions control system during the test and shut it off when the test was over.

Then when the vehicles were back on the road, they dumped anywhere from 10 to 40 times the legal pollutants into the air. Again we have an apologetic corporate leader with an admission that Volkswagen was “dishonest.”

These are two extreme examples of what can go wrong when company’s corporate cultures lose sight of their true purpose—serving their customers.

The Lesson – Is Your Culture as Strong as You Think?
The lesson is that we, as corporate leaders, need to be vigilant in keeping our eyes and those of our employees on the compass that steers us…our values and our culture. If we truly aim to act in the best interests of our customers, no one from the CEO on down should ever make a decision that does not take into account our customers’ needs and wants.

Why Didn’t Anyone Speak Up?
Why didn’t any Peanut Corporation of America employee speak up about possible contamination and unclean production practices? And where were the whistle blowers at Volkswagen?

Our take – The performance culture at both companies must have been pretty toxic in this regard. We can only assume that:

  • Questions must have been squelched
  • Dissent was not allowed
  • Employees feared recriminations
  • Greed was king
  • Ethics were not practiced, modeled or enforced

In a more healthy performance environment where values are honored and where the culture encourages the open sharing of ideas, the situation could never progress to such shocking extremes.

The Bottom Line
Is Your Culture as Strong as You Think?  It appears the CEOs in both cases were involved in the wrongdoing! Don’t you think these leaders now regret their actions? Too late for them.

But plenty of time for the rest of us to review why we’re in business and make sure we practice, model and monitor our values. Beyond our own behavior, we need to hold each and every employee accountable for understanding and implementing the corporate culture and values so they provide the direction for all actions and decisions.

To learn more about creating a high performing and aligned corporate culture, download 3 Levels of a High Performance Culture to Get Right

Share:
Facebook Twitter Google+ Email LinkedIn

Comments are closed.

We partnered with LSA to pilot a customized behavioral interviewing program to help ensure that we continue to hire the best and brightest as we continue to rapidly scale. LSA’s ability to understand our business and our unique culture combined with their desire to ensure that the best practices framework truly fits our performance environment and is highly adopted by our people is a real blessing. Most other firms want to just ‘give you training.’ Not LSA, they are focused on helping me hit our hiring forecasts and attract A players.

Jennifer Remling
Director of Global Recruiting

AKQA

Understanding and conforming to legal compliance was very important to our company. We turned to LSA Global to provide a quality and cost effective way to ensure that we were AB 1825 compliant. Their interactive eLearning program was top-notch. It allowed our managers to learn at their own pace, and on their own time. The program was tailored to include our logo and our internal harassment policies. It was interactive and met all federal and state legal requirements. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company looking for an efficient and effective and top quality way to train their managers to be in compliance.

Kelly Warren, SPHR
Director, HR & Compliance

In my years working with LSA, it seems like I’ve had a personal consultant at my fingertips to help me identify just the right solution to satisfy our needs. The entire LSA team has become a trusted friend of Actel — assuring we provide state-of-the-art learning to meet our complex, high-tech business and people needs.

Linda Mitchell
Training Manager

Hyperion has a commitment to lifelong learning. LSA helps us provide the right business sales training, management training programs, and leadership development programs at the right time to meet the needs of both individuals and departments. I especially appreciate their ability to listen to my needs and recommend the appropriate facilitators, solutions and content.

Sarah Parks
Senior Project Manager

Hyperion

The Next Generation Management Development courses have helped me communicate more effectively with my peers and teammates. By utilizing effective communication techniques such as clarifying and confirming, and asking open ended questions, I have been able to clarify and understand information in situations where I would have otherwise asked limited questions and made false assumptions.

Robert Breckner
Firmware Engineering Manager

The Managing Virtual Teams program was extremely valuable. Your consultant/ facilitator’s fundamental knowledge of Synopsys as a company provided an incredible base to build upon while tackling the complications of managing and working with globally distributed teams. My team walked away walked away with highly useful practices and tools. It was an excellent use of our time.

Debra Martucci
Vice President, Information Technology

We have been able to utilize LSA’s extensive network of top-notch resources to leverage our investment in employee development. The result has been the cost effective and highly efficient delivery of quality educational and management training programs.

Steve Feller
Vice President, Human Resources

Working with LSA Global has proven to be extremely valuable and worthwhile. LSA understands our business, has deep expertise in content areas, and tailors the programs to deliver great results. The facilitator was extremely knowledgeable about Working Globally with India and her energy and passion made the session interesting, fun, and enjoyable for all that attended. The participants walked away extremely pleased along with highly useful practices and tools. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company that has partners or offices in India.

Glenn McGillivray
Human Resources Business Partner

Intuit

We consider LSA our true business partner in the areas of Learning and Organizational Development. From Strategic Planning to Presentation Skills and Management Training, they continue to provide excellent value and extremely high quality solutions – not just one time events. I recommend them to anyone looking to drive true business results.

Michelle A. Mitchell
Vice President, Worldwide Human Resources

PalmSource has found our relationship with LSA extremely beneficial. We worked closely with LSA to customize the right Management Training Program solution to meet our unique business needs. LSA is a quality organization, one that I’d recommend to any company looking for a first class training and consulting partner.

Ken Boehm
Vice President of Human Resources

I have worked with LSA Global at previous companies and welcomed the opportunity to bring them in to support my new organization. We worked closely with LSA to design a solution for our Client Partner Teams and Management Training on both coasts. LSA designed a customized solution for our business and organizational culture. LSA is a quality organization, one that I’d recommend to any company looking for a first class training and consulting partner that makes an impact.

Laurie Torres
Chief People Officer

LSA’s customized Effective Presentation Skills program has helped me elevate my presentation skills to the next level. I now have a much greater self-awareness of my presentation skills and can leverage off of my strengths while working to improve upon other areas. I would definitely recommend this solution to anyone for whom business presentations are an integral part of their job.

Jim Elliott
Senior Marketing Manager

Samsung

Each program is preceded by an assessment of the participants. The course is then designed to fit the specific parameters and needs of the group. The highly interactive delivery is provided by recognized experts in their fields. On the spot coaching is provided during the program and each participant receives individual follow-up after the course. Courses can be delivered in-person or virtually. Given the nature of Cisco’s business and the way we operate, these remote workshops are a must for anyone who joins our company. Their work is eye opening. Great content and fantastic delivery.

Frank J. Kuypers
Business Development Manager

LSA has been a tremendous asset to my portfolio, both at my current company and my past company. As an HR leader, I am always looking for ways to find external resources that can provide a solution to our management training needs. LSA does that for me. Their solutions are presented in a much more leadership-oriented manner so as to be crisp, business relevant, and easy to apply right back on the job. I will continue to augment our programs using LSA solutions.

Ken Boehm
VP of Human Resources

Thank you to LSA Global for their partnership and support in helping us to design and roll-out our valuable management development training program. I personally have partnered with LSA Global at four of my previous companies. It continues to be a delight working with LSA. We look forward to partnering with them at Blackhawk Networks for future training and consulting needs.

Suzanne Kinner
VP Human Resources

Blackhawk Network

Evaluate your Performance

Toolkits

Toolkits

Download key published insights and tools from industry experts highlighting best practices in the areas of talent, strategy and culture.

More

Health Checks

Health Checks

Want to know how you stack up against leading organizations?  Receive a complimentary benchmarking analysis courtesy of an LSA Expert.

More

Whitepapers

Whitepapers

Get up to speed on timely solutions critical to your business. Published by LSA Experts based upon client feedback and key industry trends.

More

Methodology

Methodologies

First we identify the key metrics you want to improve. Then we assemble a dedicated team of elite experts who have successfully solved similar problems with similar clients.

More

Blogs

Stay up to do date with the latest information on how we help high growth companies align their culture and talent with strategy.

More

Case Studies

Client Case Studies

Real world consulting and training approaches from LSA projects, providing insights on how your company can outperform the competition.

More