“Stick to your true north― build greatness for the long term.”
Ruth Porat, CFO Alphabet Inc. and Google
True North and Company Culture
A company’s true north is its Mission, and its culture makes the Mission possible. Culture is how a company’s values come to life every day. Culture is the personality and environment, and it is shown in a variety of aspects including talent management, leadership, and governance. Culture is visible externally too in customer relationship management, branding, and social responsibility.
Since culture affects all stakeholders from employees to customers to partners and suppliers to communities, culture makes the news.
“Where were the leaders?” That’s the question stakeholders ask when companies make the news for boys clubs, misuse of company assets, improper personal behavior, harassment, discrimination, price gouging, or organizational chaos. Leaders of companies with strong cultures make headlines too. Their cultures are strategic assets that lead to strong employee commitment, optimal performance, and competitive advantage.
Our Culture Evolution process helps leaders, founders, and Boards nourish the good, renovate the old, and tackle anything jeopardizing revenue, retention, and reputation.
Culture oversight is needed for several reasons:
#1. Culture influences financial performance, for better or worse. Focus on it early and often, or you’ll spend money, time, people, and energy on it later.
#2. Insufficient oversight destabilizes cultures, which can lead to humiliating news stories, missed revenue targets, loss of key employees, or trailing behind competitors. Culture failures are painful and expensive to repair.
#3. There’s no such thing as “sustainable competitive advantage” any more. There is transient advantage, which is only possible when culture evolves.
#4. Businesses have multiple changes happening simultaneously, and oversight can keep your culture from buckling under the pressure of change and growth.
#5. Without objectivity, companies make decisions based on ambiguity, biases, and secrets, and the lack of transparency is a risk many leaders and Boards no longer want to take.
Company leaders call us when storms cause rough seas. Storms like when financial goals haven’t been met in two consecutive quarters or customer churn rises or employee turnover is high prompt company leaders to call on Voyage Consulting Group. We can help leaders understand what’s happening and respond without panicking. We can help companies develop leaders who can steer the culture in the right direction too.
We have experience leading operations ourselves, so we understand the challenges of meeting business objectives when business fluctuates. We help leaders who need to accelerate culture change with minimal disruption and maximum performance so rough seas don’t take the wind out of their sails.
10 Leadership Tips For Playing To More Than Your Strengths Forbes.com, January 2019
11 Elements To Look For In A Job Offer Before Accepting The Position Forbes.com, January 2019
15 Big Challenges You'll Face As A Modern CEO (And How To Solve Them) Forbes.com, November 2018
“It's very easy to be different but very difficult to be better.”
Jonathan Ive, Chief Design Officer, Apple