21st Century Businesses Depend on Culture to Succeed

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Executives today are turning to non-traditional modes of developing and positioning their organization for the 21st century business. Overwhelmingly, executives are addressing their respective corporate cultures as an avenue for producing measurable business results. In response to this paradigm shift, Insigniam, an international management consulting firm, called a one-day executive summit, the ninth of its kind, to address the question of: “how can we leverage the corporate culture (the way people think, feel, and act towards their work) of our respective organizations to produce measurable, breakthrough results?”

The summit’s keynote speaker, Sir Ken Robinson, an author, speaker, and internationally recognized authority on creativity and innovation, spoke on “Leading a Culture of Innovation.”

The summit also featured two interviews with senior executives at two disparate organizations. The first with GNC (General Nutrition Centers, Inc.) who are at the outset of a cultural transformation. The chief human resources officer, Daisy Vanderlinde, was flanked by the vice presidents of field operations, marketing, and purchasing, Beth Kitchen, Amy Davis, and Steve Cherry.

The second interview was with Cone Health, a North Carolina based healthcare group consisting of physician offices and major hospitals who have been transforming their culture for over six years. Chief operating officer, Judy Schanel was joined for the interview with the EVP of transformation and innovation, Joan Evans, and chief clinical officer, Dr. Mary Jo Cagle.
The result of the day was a set of business principles executives can immediately apply to their work:

We are living in revolutionary times and many of the challenges we face are without precedent. They are being driven by two major forces: technology and demography. Sir Ken Robinson then urged attendees to think introspectively about what they are relying on today that could be the source of their own demise.

To meet these challenges, we have to think very differently about talent, creativity and human resources. Sir Ken Robinson went on to say that the life you live is a function of finding your talents and then applying them.

Like all living organisms, the companies that thrive longest are those that adapt best to their changing environments. For that, they need a culture of innovation. Cone Health’s chief clinical officer, Dr. Mary Jo Cagle, said there was a clear gap between where they were, and where they aspired to be in the healthcare sector, and they viewed their corporate culture as the best way to close that gap.

Innovation is the life force of all great organizations. Most companies have new ideas from time to time. For companies to survive and thrive now, innovation has to become a habit not an accident.

A culture of innovation depends on creative leadership. Leading for innovation is not the same as leading only for for efficiency. Sir Ken Robinson further underscored steering someone toward something is a falsehood, since life is lived in an improvised way.

The role of a creative leader is not command and control: it is climate control. The role of a creative leader is not to have all the good ideas: it is to facilitate a culture where everyone has good ideas.

About Insigniam

Over 30 years ago, Insigniam pioneered the field of organizational transformation. Today, executives in large, complex organizations use Insigniam’s consulting services to generate breakthroughs in their critical business results. Insigniam’s innovation consulting enables enterprises to identify and cross into new strategic frontiers to rapidly generate new income streams. Insigniam provides executives of the world’s largest companies with management consulting services and solutions that are unparalleled in their potency to quickly deliver on strategic imperatives and boost dramatic growth. Insigniam solutions include Enterprise Transformation, Strategy Innovation and Innovation Projects, Breakthrough Projects, Transformational Leadership, and Managing Change. Offices are located in Philadelphia, Laguna Beach, London, Paris, and Hong Kong. For more information, please visit http://www.insigniam.com.

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