Reach your strategic goals with a strategybased
The new strategic direction in your organisation is de� ned. Possibly by a
merger of organisational units or whole companies. But how can you succeed
in adapting the business culture in a way that you can reach your strategic
goals? The answer is a strategy-based cultural change.
A lot of projects aiming at a strategic change in the company do not fail because of the wrong
goals. The previous culture of these companies has simply not been suitable for such changes.
Whether the desired goals have not been made suf� ciently clear to the members of staff, the
measures have been imposed top-down without integrating the staff in an appropriate way
or whether the desired goals would require a different form of collaboration – the result is
always the same: a failed strategy which eventually results in an economic failure and a further
This can be avoided! A business culture can be changed systematically so that it supports
the new requirements of an organisation in the perfect way. Such requirements can be a new
strategic direction, the merger of different business units (or of whole organisations) or other
substantial changes. A strategy-based cultural change is a systematic cultural changing
process, which helps communicate your goals clearly to the staff, eliminate blocks and
strengthen positive elements. The key to a change-success is a top-down and bottom-up
analysis which makes existing areas of con� ict visible. This is the only way to de� ne a stringent
set of relevant � elds of action and consolidated packages of measures which are supported
by your organisation and are implemented by de� ned people in charge. Dozens of singular
measures which are inef� cient and dif� cult to coordinate can be avoided in that way.
Have you ever wondered…
Dr. Oliver Kohler
Managing Partner HPO AG
whether your organisation develops its full potential or whether business cultural aspects prevent
it from doing so?
whether the present business culture is suitable to align your whole organisation
respectively all your members of staff with the new goals and suitable to implement
how a new business culture can be established in an organisation which
resulted of the merger of two business units or even two organisations – a business
culture which is aligned with the strategic direction of the merged unit?
What is business culture and how can it be
Business culture comprises all the common
values, rules and attitudes which shape the
decisions, the actions and the behaviour of
the members of the organisation. It can only
be measured and changed objectively by
so-called ‘material aspects’ such as systems,
behaviour, communication or appearance.
In this way you can avoid generalizations of
subjective perceptions of a single person.
Otherwise business culture would not be
« Eventually business cultural and thus «soft» refl ections
lead to very precise, so-called «hard» respectively visible
and comprehensible measures. »
How can business culture be changed?
The strategy-based cultural change is based
on the knowledge that a desired change of
the business culture can only be reached by
a sustainable change of the corresponding
«material aspects». Therefore it is not enough
to practise team-building or a change in
behaviour in well-intentioned individual or
group courses. In the day-to-day business –
Grundprinzip des Prozesses zum «strategiebasierten Cultural Change»
ox o x
usually in unchanged general conditions – they
are likely to be forgotten very soon.
Changes of «material aspects» can be
visible in the way we cooperate (processes,
interfaces), in the systems which support
us (bonus systems, promotion systems,
hierarchies, IT, other technical tools), in the
manners and leadership behaviour which are
required and tolerated and in how internal and
external communication works. « Eventually
business cultural and thus «soft» re� ections
lead to very precise, so-called «hard»
respectively visible and comprehensible
Why is a strategy-based cultural change
A systematic cultural changing process
allows identifying the necessary need for
adjustments and implementing appropriate
measures. These measures are supported by
the whole organisation because they have
been developed in a consolidation process
on the basis of a top-down-bottom-up
approach. This widely supported commitment
is an essential basis so that the desired
strategic changes can gain ground in the
whole organisation and can be put into effect
Ascom Security Communication
New successful direction due to a strategybased
Aligning a previously nationally oriented organisation on an international level
implies a substantial strategic change. If this organisation consists of units
which originally belonged to different organisations, a systematic adaptation of
the cultural basics is a must for a successful implementation of a strategy.
Beispiele von Zeichnungen, die im Rahmen der Kulturworkshops entstanden sind.
Ascom Security Communication (Secom), a
division of the Ascom group which is listed on
the stock exchange, guarantees the «missioncritical
communication» of its customers
with its almost 350 members of staff. As an
independent system integrator Ascom offers
tailored communication solutions for the
police, the � re brigade, rescue services as
well as security organisations in the civil and
military domain. So far business activity has
been focused on a very national business,
including a few major customers. In the
summer 2010 Secom management developed
a strategy which should turn the organisation
into an international provider of products and
solutions. Apart from the really big challenge
it had to be considered that the individual
business cultures of the units which had
merged into Secom in 2007 were still quite
Goals of the project
The major goal of the project was to reach a
common awareness and comprehension of
its business culture on the different levels of
the division. This is how the way to a «High
Performance Culture» should be paved for
SeCom in the medium and long term and how
a sustainable success should be guaranteed
with the help a new strategic alignment.
Until then the units focused on different
business areas and operated rather
independently. Now the main focus was on the
idea that the strategic goals in the high-tech
area of SeCom could only be reached if all the
units cooperated more closely in the future.
On the basis of a common comprehension of
the present cultures all the persons involved
should de� ne the optimal desired culture,
elaborate suitable measures and implement
and � x them in the day-to-day business.
With the help of the approved HPOmethodology
«7C®Culture Plan» the approach
of the project was planned according to the
needs of Ascom Security Communication. The
representative choice of staff members for the
so-called «Culture Workshops» was of major
importance. Employees from all the different
functional areas and from several management
levels were integrated. In all of Switzerland
about 20% of all employees participated in allday
workshops. Within the organisation they
played an important part as multiplicators of
The participants became well aware of the
present culture due to clear manifestations.
On the basis of the desired strategic direction
they identi� ed the desired culture and derived
where there was substantial need or action.
This was consolidated in � ve � elds of action
and was developed in special implementation
projects. This included, among others, the
intensi� cation of the managerial functions
on all levels, efforts for a comprehensible
communication of the new strategic goals
according to levels as well as adaptations for
processes and interfaces.
Dr. Fritz Gantert
Head Ascom Security
« A new strategic direction
can only be successful if the
business culture supports it.
Ascom SeCom had to cope
with two business cultural
challenges: on the one hand
even three years after the
merger of different organisational
units, very different unit
cultures were still visible, in
particular at various places.
On the other hand the alignment
with an increasingly
international customer base
meant an important challenge
for an organisation which had
mainly operated as a system
integrator on a national level.
With the help of the structured
approach of HPO it was
possible to make the cultural
characteristics of SeCom
visible and understandable,
by using values and manifestations.
In cooperation with
our employees we defi ned the
to-be culture in order to reach
the strategic goals – widely
supported and well founded.
On this basis the fi elds of
action could be derived with
precise measures. HPO did
a good job and provided us
with important inputs concerning
a structured approach in
Are all the industries the
It is amazing to see again
and again how similar ways
of looking at a problem are
in different industries and
how approved approaches
can even be adopted from
other industries. Industrial
processes, for example, � t
perfectly in the environment
of � nancial service providers.
The HPO-methodology is
based on common patterns
and ensures that the best
possible solutions can be
On the other hand industries
differ. Processes are the
same, but the contents are
completely different. The
terms, the languages are
different. In the environment
of a banker you cannot
use the vocabulary of a
steel worker and the other
way round. In other words
apart from the capability of
abstraction and the transfer
of concepts the basic
skills of a HPO consultant
also include a profound
and speci� c knowledge
of the different industries.
We maintain and develop
systematically our know-how
and our experience in the
Banks, insurances and
Information and communication
Telecom providers, ICT
Service providers, system
Steel sector, mechanical
Chemical and pharmaceutical
industry, Life sciences, Power
sector, Non pro� t-organisations,
Aviation, Public sector
Transport, Healthcare, Trade
and consumer goods, Media
Tel. +41 44 787 60 00
Fax +41 44 787 60 60
Our Name is Program:
We are Management Consultants for High Performance
High performance begins with a consistent strategy.
Together we will develop or assess your strategy.
We design your high performance organization.
We ensure its implementation.
We will improve your performance with our own proven methodology.
The value we add exceeds our costs by at least a factor of ten.
We accept performance based fees. And we have good reason.
Step by step.
Have we aroused your interest? Then take part in one of our intensive seminars.
Basics of the integral methodology approach, focus on a single topic, presentation, reference
to a project from the practice
Dates and topics
Tuesday Nov. 8th, 2011: Business culture- the frequently under-estimated «soft facts»
Thursday Feb. 2nd, 2012: Microdeswign
14.00 Uhr bis 18.00 Uhr, anschliessend gemeinsames Dinner
Further information and inscription at www.hpo.ch