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Saturday, December 08, 2012


Leading Culture Change in Global Organizations by Daniel Denison, Robert Hooijberg, Nancy Lane & Colleen Lief - Book review

Leading Culture Change in Global Organizations

Aligning Culture and Strategy

By: Daniel Denison, Robert Hooijberg, Nancy Lane, Colleen Lief

Published: June 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 240 pages
ISBN-10: 047090884X
ISBN-13: 978-0470908846
Publisher: Jossey-Bass

"It can be easy to forget that the people make the place, because the structures that we create often outlive our memory of how and why we created them to begin with, leaving us feeling like we are the victims rather than the visionaries of the systems that we create", write professor or management and organization at the International Institute for Management Development (IMD), Daniel Denison; professor of organizational behavior at the International Institute for Management Development (IMD), Robert Hooijberg; research associate at the International Institute for Management Development (IMD), Nancy Lane; and project manager for the IMD-Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch Family Business Research Center, Colleen Lief, in their insightful and organization transforming book Leading Culture Change in Global Organizations: Aligning Culture and Strategy. The authors describe the importance of developing a unique company culture, and present the theory and practices to transform the organizational culture into one that aligns with the overall company strategy.

Daniel Denison (photo left), Robert Hooijberg, Nancy Lane, and Colleen Lief understand the importance of of company culture to the success of the organization. The authors also recognize the necessity of that culture being in alignment with the strategic planning of the organization. This alignment is especially critical in a global company, where adaptability and flexibility are crucial to success in diverse markets.

To achieve the needed level of alignment, and a successful company culture, the authors provide the best practices for developing and managing a strong company culture, aligned to the values and strategy of the organization, and how to measure its overall effectiveness. The authors share a number case studies of company cultural transformation, and analyze the successes and challenges experienced by those organizations

Robert Hooijberg (photo left), Nancy Lane, Colleen Lief, and Daniel Denison approach the issue of company culture from an alignment viewpoint. Within that assessment, the authors consider which paths toward cultural transformation have produced the most success. They also assess the role of the organizational leadership in creating a new culture, and what the results of those changes in culture are over time. The authors also consider the results of the various approaches to culture transformation to determine the most effective practices for a global company. To evaluate the myriad approaches taken by several organizations, the authors applied a survey of the companies involved in the changes.

Nancy Lane (photo left), Colleen Lief, Daniel Denison, and Robert Hooijberg present a comprehensive overview of the development of a unique company culture that is alignment withe organizational strategy. The authors tracked the companies included int their study and developed a series of strategies and lessons for leaders as follows:

* Building a high performance business culture
* Supporting the front line
* Creating strategic alignment
* Creating one culture out of many
* Exporting cultural change
* Building a global business in an emerging market
* Building a global business from an emerging market
* Building for the future: Trading old habits for new

For me, the power of the book is how Colleen Lief (photo left), Daniel Denison, Robert Hooijberg and Nancy Lane provide a powerful combination of theory and practical strategies for developing and managing an effective corporate culture. The authors present the practices for leaders to transform their existing organizational culture, including cultures that are dysfunctional, into unique and vibrant organizations, whose actions and engagement are aligned with the overall goals and strategies of the firm.

The authors move beyond the standard culture based books and offer a research based examination of cultures that have transformed themselves into completely different ones. The book contains the case studies of those companies, and how they met their cultural challenges, and became entirely unique enterprises. The book extends the cultural discussion as well to include the challenges and opportunities for an aligned culture to succeed in the global marketplace. The various chapters in the book contain a series of lessons for leaders, as well, that offer actionable ideas and tactics for creating a fresh and engaged organizational culture.

I highly recommend the research based and very practical strategy filled book Leading Culture Change in Global Organizations: Aligning Culture and Strategy by Daniel Denison, Robert Hooijberg, Nancy Lane, and Colleen Lief, to any organizational leaders seeking to transform their company culture to reengage employees to meet the many challenges presented through operating in the global economy. This book will change the way you think about the value of company culture, and its fundamental importance to organizational success.


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