A British Institute of Management survey of failed mergers and acquisitions concluded that the predominant factor was in underestimating the difficulties of merging two cultures. Similarly, Sherriton & Stern’s seminal study found that the main reason three quarters of re-engineering, total quality management, and down sizing efforts failed was due to neglect of the organisation’s culture (1996).

The culture of an organisation – its shared values and behaviours – is an integral part of a business’ identity and vital to its success. A cohesive cultural strategy, particularly during times of significant change (such as substantial staff changes, downsizing or mergers), is critical to meeting the business’ objectives.

Barrington Training works in collaboration with organisations to identify, change, and successfully manage their culture. Barrington’s cultural change program is designed to imbed the cultural change, and ensure ownership at all levels within the organisation. This strategy goes beyond simply identifying the existing aspects of their culture, but also formulating a comprehensive plan to create a more effective culture. Barrington focuses on developing the necessary leadership skills within the organisation, while further employing initiatives to ensure greater employee engagement.

In a landmark study by Kotter and Heskett, it was shown that those organisations that managed their cultures well saw revenue increases of 682% over a ten year period, while those that didn’t experienced an increase of only 166%. The study also found that the organisation’s stock prices increased 901% versus 74% respectively, and net income increased 756% versus a staggering 1%.

In an integrated package tailored to the organisation, Barrington’s Cultural Change process include:

  1. Cultural audits: utilising a combination of interviews, psychometric tools and questionnaires to determine the current organisation culture
  2. Focus Groups: group interviews with selected staff conducted by an experienced facilitator to assess the strengths and challenges of the organisational culture
  3. Executive Coaching: one-on-one coaching to define the desired culture and to develop leadership skills to roll-out the desired organisational cultural shift
  4. Workshops and Training: group workshops to raise staff awareness of the existing norms, values and behaviours which constitute the existing culture
  5. Training programs to identify the key aspects of the desired cultural change and to ensure ownership of this change process

Outcomes

Successful management of organisational culture creates greater collaboration amongst staff, builds confidence for decision-making, fosters emotional intelligence, and ultimately promotes business growth. Studies have found that healthy organisation cultures lead to:

  1. Superior organisational effectiveness
  2. Development and retention of high-performing talent
  3. Better financial returns in terms of ROI, ROA and ROE
  4. Greater organisational success and innovation