I used to work for a big metals and mining company called Alcoa. Whenever I worked on a new customer contract, we always had an extremely conservative legal position, especially when it came to anything that had to do with the competition.
Everybody in sales and marketing had to go through annual training programs about what to do if we ever saw a competitor, or a competitor spoke to us. If we were attending a trade show where a competitor would be, we had to get written permission ahead of time from the Legal Department and brush up on our training again.
Does this sound like overkill to you?
It might make more sense if you knew that the company was the subject of the most famous lawsuit against a corporate monopoly in U.S. history. Alcoa actually lost the suit, leading to the break-up of the company into smaller parts that eventually grew into the company’s competitors.
Can you imagine what that would be like? Your former manufacturing plants and employees turn into your competitors almost overnight?
Obviously something that dramatic would have a powerful impact on the company culture. No wonder Alcoa was so conservative when it came to anything that looked like monopolistic behavior.
Oh by the way … that famous legal ruling? It occurred in 1944.
Company culture rules.
Can you see how complex and important corporate culture can be? An event that happened decades ago still influences the company culture today. You really have to dissect the cultural DNA of a company to understand how it works. And I believe there is no more powerful influence on a company’s ability to change and adopt new marketing practices than culture.
This is the subject of an extremely interesting new Marketing Companion podcast. Of course Tom Webster and I also introduce three new Marketing Companion products including a discount escort service and subpar child care. Simply a natural connection, right? But that’s another story.
The challenge of corporate culture and how to get over the resistance to change is a struggle for almost all of us today. In this podcast we discuss:
- Why so many executives are slow to change and what to do about it
- How to get a change effort started: education, quick wins and the safe sandbox
- The foundational blocks of leadership
- Why you MUST document your progress as a buffer against future change
- The social media quote that gives Mark a stomach ache.
- The march of Milennials is on. How will this impact culture?
- Culture swap — Can we cross-pollinate cultures?
Are you ready? Let’s do this thing!
Click on this link to listen to Episode 44
Resources mentioned in this podcast episode:
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