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 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

What a refreshing change from the half-baked psycho-babble you normally get from training and consulting organizations. LSA gives you the practical and results-oriented assistance you need to define and reach your goal.  They provide a results driven plan – not just a temporary fix. They are great to work with, and even more importantly, they “get it!”

David Fiano
Vice President Human Resources

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

Here’s a token of my appreciation for ALL your efforts. I’m offering my most sincere appreciation, and it extends to all the folks who made our customized management development programs possible.

Susan Anderson
Workforce Planning Bureau

LSA’s approach and ability to bring the best resources to eBay has been a great asset. They really focus on helping us succeed in any way they can and are very flexible in meeting our management and talent needs.

Mike Normant
Learning & Development

ebay

I had been working with LSA for many years with my prior company. Currently, I’m with a company who hadn’t done much basic management skills training. After identifying and presenting a program recently, our managers are excited and talking in the halls about the great experience. LSA saves us time in delivering the right training for our needs.

Phyllis Moracco
HR Director

For our go to training outsourcing partner, LSA provides exactly what we want. As always, they deliver outstanding work!

Elizabeth Siebert
Director, Organizational Excellence & Development

Intuit

I’ve partnered with LSA Global at two companies now, and I consider them a valuable and trusted training and consulting resource. They recommended just the right solution to address our management development needs and have wonderful facilitators that match YuMe’s culture and style of our management team. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company wanting to deliver quality learning solutions with a valuable learning and development partner.

Maya Paul
HR Director

LSA Global’s consultant brought a fresh perspective to our behavioral based interviewing strategy for two key executive positions we needed to fill, and their consultant helped us develop questions that produced a much deeper understanding of candidates’ capabilities. I am confident that the two new executives joining our organization have the right skills to add significant value. Throughout the process LSA was also very responsive in dealing with short lead time requests.

Because of the unique nature of our business, Excel is a core application in our accounting organization. After three attempts to find an Excel consultant who is capable of helping our finance team integrate advanced applications into our work processes we found LSA and Alex. He was not only a “Real” Excel expert but was masterful in helping us identify where to use Excel applications in our processes to increase our group’s efficiency.

SPO Partners & Co
Kim Silva, CFO

We partnered with LSA Global to help us invest in our people in the areas of performance coaching, diversity, and inclusion. They focused on helping us succeed and were very flexible in meeting our specific needs. LSA Global exceeded my expectations from a speed, quality, and value standpoint. I would recommend LSA Global to anyone looking for a true business partner.

Anita Luckinbill
Director, Human Resources

We recently partnered with LSA Global to offer our Supervisors and Managers a customized two-day management training program. Everyone who attended said it was by far the best management training program they had ever attended. The content was rich and highly interactive. The case studies were relevant. Each participant walked away from the training much better equipped to lead their teams.

Jeff Coon
Director of Human Resources

In the Next Generation Management Development courses, I was trained with skills and tools that have made me and my team more productive, motivated, and successful at communicating with other departments.

 

Kevin Ashman
Firmware Engineering Supervisor

I continue to be impressed by the level of leadership development and management expertise and quality of advice and facilitation that LSA has to offer. What a smart and client-centric group of great people who really know how to help leaders attract, engage, develop and retain top talent.

Tracy Esposito
Director, HR Business Partner

The LSA Global team was very receptive and flexible to our needs every step of the way. Their staff and facilitator demonstrated attention to detail, responsiveness, and professional courtesy. The participants were thrilled with the outcome and rated the communication skills workshop and the facilitator as ‘Excellent’. I’d highly recommend working with the LSA Global team to meet your professional development needs.

John Mastrorilli
FRDP Leader

Intuit

“We turned to LSA to help us custom design and deliver a leadership and management development curriculum to help drive performance. They have done an excellent job diagnosing the business situation, designing an approach that fits our culture, and delivering a first class solution.”

Sally Buchannan
VP Human Resources

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