Leadership Consulting Case Study


A growing, global North American-based manufacturing firm was going through a large change effort. In the process, they discovered that a number of cultural characteristics were creating obstacles as employees worked hard to maximize their contributions. Clarity suffered - people focused more on activity than performance outcomes. Roles and responsibilities were confusing - accurate and timely communication needed to be enhanced. Empowerment was only a concept. Performance feedback was sporadic, general, and directed mostly at shortfalls not accomplishments.


As the president of the company began to look at his leadership behavior and how it signaled and reinforced certain cultural characteristics, it became clear that if performance were to change he would need to adapt his approach. By stepping back and asking tough questions, he created an intentional symbolism strategy. He insisted on integrated employee skills and competencies, took personal responsibility to show how the company could focus on a common goal, challenged and inspired employees to find opportunities for process improvements and breakthroughs, and introduced quarterly performance discussions.


By paying disciplined, monitored attention to his own leadership behavior, the company president is now in the process of reshaping the corporate culture. He believes strongly in the positive effect of culture and is convinced that it is one of the key factors that helped improve the company's performance. Lessons Learned

Culture is critical to a company because:

  • It plays a major role in helping or hindering the strategy implementation.
  • It promotes motivation and commitment among team or organization members.

As we integrate our Era Management principles among all levels of management, we discover that the real job of the leader is to create and sustain an energized culture so that organization members know what tradeoffs and judgment calls to make without constant supervision.

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