Culture Change at Work: How to Stay Ahead of The Trend
Dr. Greg Ketchum, 01/28/06
Big changes continue to hit the US auto industry hard with Ford Motor
Company’s announcement last week of a major restructuring plan
that involves cutting 34,000 jobs and closing 14 factories in the US.
This comes on top of GM’s announcement last month that it plans
to cut about that same number of jobs.
Now this is a huge story, not only for those
directly impacted by the changes at Ford, but
for every working American and here’s
why. Culture change. That’s right. A
key element of Ford’s turnaround plan
that isn’t getting as much press as the
layoffs and plant closings is changing the
company culture at Ford.
To see what I mean take a look at this quote
from Chairman Bill Ford on the “cultural
revolution” underway at Ford.
"…we will not stand for: incremental
change, avoiding risk, thinking short-term,
blocking innovation, tying our people's hands,
defending procedures that don't make sense
and selling what we have instead of what the
customer wants. In short, we will not stand
for business as usual."
Many American companies, like Ford, are realizing
that without changing their company culture
no amount of restructuring or job cutting will
keep them competitive. In fact, many corporate
turnarounds fail for this very reason.
Culture: What’s Out and What’s In
- Out: Top down
management, bureaucratic, cautious and highly
- In: Nimble,
change friendly, innovative, empowering and
low political cultures.
Corporate culture change is here to stay and
the key for you and me is developing the skills
that the new corporate cultures prize. For
starters, here are 3 of them.
How to Stay Ahead of the Culture Changes in
- Take the Initiative: Seize
opportunities, make things happen, & show
leadership rather than waiting for others
to show you the way.
- Risk Taker: Be able to
take reasonable risks not chances.
- Be Authentic: Able to be
real, deal with failure & mistakes, & no
Finally, the most important of all these skills
is that ability to be authentic. We all admire
and trust people who are able to be real with
us. After all you know what they say,
“Reality. It’s a trip.”
For more information and a list of references
go to talentplanet.com and click on Dr. Greg.
Have a great morning.
®2006 Gregory A. Ketchum, Ph.D. All rights