Strategy-based Cultural Change - HPO

Strategy-based Cultural Change - HPO


Reach your strategic goals with a strategybased

cultural change

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

appropriate measures?

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?

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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 –

Strategische Ziele

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

measures. »

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


5 6



























Ascom Security Communication

New successful direction due to a strategybased

cultural change

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 messages.


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

and methodological

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

particular. »

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

following industries:


Banks, insurances and

Private Equity

Information and communication


Application developers,

Telecom providers, ICT

Service providers, system



Steel sector, mechanical

engineering, plant

construction, building


Further branches

Chemical and pharmaceutical

industry, Life sciences, Power

sector, Non pro� t-organisations,

Aviation, Public sector

Transport, Healthcare, Trade

and consumer goods, Media


Kantonsstrasse 14

CH-8807 Freienbach

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.

To success.

Intensive Seminars

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

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