N2GROWTH - CULTURE BY DESIGN
Culture is more than theory here at N2Growth – it is next practices innovation, which has been tested and implemented at some of the world’s leading organizations. Many consulting firms trade in squishy, esoteric culture offerings. N2Growth provides advantaged based outcomes that are definable, deliverable and sustainable.
Every organization has a culture, but is it a culture that has just evolved, or is it a culture that has been been created with great intent and purpose – is it a Culture by Design? Culture is more than just the sum of the parts; it’s not only what holds the parts together, but it’s what unlocks hidden value and drives innovation. Culture is the “X” factor that creates velocity in growth and ensures sustainability. Here’s an example, trying to navigate the complexities of a digital or business transformation apart from culture is little more than an exercise in frivolity. Business decisions separated from culture will simply not be optimized for success. If you get one thing right, let it be culture.
We have developed an entire culture suite of intellectual property powered by a proprietary cloud-based analytics engine. Our applications are capable of assessing culture gaps and blind spots across 6 key culture transformation levers nuanced with organization specific dynamics to produce real-time, actionable change frameworks that drive rapid and sustainable change transforming the culture you have into the culture you need.
In addition to the most advanced culture suite of IP, N2Growth has what is arguably the most experienced group of Corporate Culture and Change Leadership experts assembled under one roof anywhere on the planet. We have a highly unique blend of academics, experienced practitioners, thought leaders and former senior executives. We advise global businesses on building and leading corporate cultures that align, support and operationalize business strategy. We don’t tell you what to do, but we collaborate with your team to co-create something truly unique that is aligned with your core values and strategic imperatives. N2Growth is culture done right.
UNDERSTANDING CORPORATE CULTURE
Most businesses have very little insight into the strengths and weaknesses of their corporate culture. And that could be a significant hidden business risk.
There is no dispute (at least not rational dispute) that culture impacts business performance. What is not so clear is, “what exactly is our culture?” and “does our culture support or hinder our ability to successfully execute strategy?” We believe it is critical for the CEO and senior team to be able to answer these key unknowns in order to build and sustain competitive advantage.
N2Growth has been instrumental in helping many organizations see the value of culture as a key strategic objective. We invite you to read a recent Forbes column authored by our chairman and founder on the importance of culture.
LEADERSHIP AND CULTURE CHANGE
Change management seems to result in lots of management and little change. What I am really looking for is Change Leadership! ~ a very frustrated CEO
Organizations tend to be shadows of their leaders (that’s the good news and the bad news). In many cases, the way people far down into the organization behave and interact with each other and customers directly reflects how the senior team behaves. If you want to build an agile, results-focused, innovative, team-based, high performance company, then it starts at the top. At N2Growth we have the skills to help create greater strategic focus and team alignment within the senior team.
N2Growth works closely with the CEO and senior team to provide not only an understanding of their specific culture and top team alignment, but the ability to define the specific cultural ingredients required for effective strategy execution. While we have years of experience in designing and facilitating culture change programs for global companies as well as fast growing SMEs, it’s our innovative approach to co-creation with our clients that makes the experience unique and the results sustainable. This is not an academic exercise of agreeing on a few values or delivering motivational team workshops, but a robust business transformation process to make your culture a significant competitive advantage.
Anyone can copy your strategy, but they can’t copy your culture!
IMPORTANCE OF CULTURE IN M&A
I’ve reviewed your vital statistics and checked your bank account, let’s get married!
On paper, a merger or acquisition often looks attractive and the estimated increase in top line revenue and significant cost savings are compelling. The sad fact is, most mergers fail to deliver on their projected goals or savings and in some cases actually destroy shareholder value. In many cases, senior management failed to understand the impact of merging different corporate cultures. And when it’s a cross boarder M&A, the cultural differences are even greater.
N2Growth has pioneered an ability to identify cultural compatibilities and differences and to map them onto the M&A integration process in such a way as to significantly improve cultural integration. In many cases we have helped senior teams spot hidden integration barriers that were not picked up in normal due diligence. M&A should be a strategic business leap forward, not a deadly cultural tar pit.
THE ROLE OF CULTURE IN BUSINESS TURNAROUND
Anytime you are in a company that is broken, often what’s been ignored are three things; the people, the training of those people, and the systems. ~Lawrence Kellner, former CEO Continental Airlines.
Too often the process of turning around a failing business focuses solely on the financial, balance sheet and cash flow requirements, along with cost cutting and product innovation. Financial engineering can save a company from bankruptcy, but doesn’t always deliver future growth and sustainable performance.
N2Growth has considerable experience in working alongside financial turnaround experts to concurrently reshape a broken culture, help recruit new leadership and redesign the organization for future growth and sustainability.
How do we scale and sustain our culture?
Business growth is usually a good thing, but in many cases hiring lots of new employees actually dilutes and weakens your existing high performance culture. Additionally geographic expansion and trying to replicate the original culture in a different country can lead to actual performance decline. And even within the same area, growth adds new staff and executives who bring with them their old cultural habits and ways of working. In some cases the increase in diversity and ways of thinking provides great value while at other times it can lead to actual performance declines.
N2Growth helps management develop new hiring profiles to ensure cultural fit while also advising on robust new employee orientation programs to help improve employee integration. In addition our staff has considerable experience in helping companies understand the cultural differences of setting up successful operations in different countries.
THE START-UP: DON'T COPY CREATE
Let’s make the company we always dreamed of. Let’s create a company that will be a great place to be from. ~ Reed Hastings and Patty McCord, Netflix
Today the barriers to entry for start-ups are at an all time low. Everywhere around the globe we find young companies with new solutions, new technologies, new ideas and financial backing. Starting a company is easy, building a sustainable enterprise is not. While the Silicon Valley start-ups are famous for people-centric cultures, a sustainable growth culture is more than just people perks. Just like people must grow and develop, so must culture.
N2Growth is ready to advise you on the key cultural elements of sustainability and growth that are balanced with high employee engagement and innovation. We work alongside founders and management teams to design a culture that works, today, tomorrow and far into the future.
JIM KERR | Chair – Culture Transformation
Jim Kerr serves as the global chair of N2Growth’s culture practice. One of today’s foremost thinkers on organizational design and culture transformation, Jim is an Inc.com columnist and a best selling author of 4 books. His latest book, The Executive Checklist (Palgrave-Macmillan – 2014) is a guide for setting direction and managing change. Jim holds a BS in Management Information Systems from Bentley University, and an MS in Management Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.