Archive for February, 2012

Four Kinds of Corporate Culture

Friday, February 10th, 2012

There are four distinct types of corporate culture, according to a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm, and the one preferred by employees surprised researchers. Also, the firm’s study confirms that a mismatch between the culture and the CEO is often the cause of a CEO’s “flame-out.”

LeadershipIQ says the four types of culture are

  1. Hierarchical–built on tradition, rely on clearly defined roles
  2. Dependable–focus on process, slow to change
  3. Enterprising–value creativity, competition and meritocracy
  4. Social–emphasize collaboration, trust and relationships

Which one do employees prefer? Not the one LeadershipIQ expected, as it turns out. The firm thought employees would favor a social company, but instead, they’re most engaged in an enterprising culture.

Understanding the type of culture you’re joining is important for any employee’s satisfaction, and it’s especially important for a new CEO. Otherwise, the leader is working at cross-purposes with the rest of the company. How good is the match between you and your company’s culture?


Trust Matters

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

No doubt about it: trust matters! The most-trusted companies produce better results, including

  • lower employee turnover
  • higher revenue
  • profitability, and
  • shareholder returns

The Wall Street Journal reported these findings of recent research and, even more importantly, went on to explain the behavior that engenders a high level of trust. Essentially, managers whose employees and shareholders trust them  are skilled communicators. (No surprises there; many top management gurus agree that communication is the key skill required to be a great leadership.)

Specifically, here’s what high-trust managers communicate skillfully: 1) They make it clear that shareholders share the company’s interests, 2)  They show concerns for others, demonstrating that they will do what’s right despite the consequences, 3) They deliver on their promises, clearly exhibiting competence in doing so, 4) They “walk their talk,” demonstrating integrity and taking responsibility for any mistakes.

As The Journal’s article concludes, “The ability to align interests, show benevolence, accurately communicate one’s capabilities, and practice what one preaches all require strong communication skills.”

Direct Mail Preferred for Marketing

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Online media get all the buzz, but according to a recent poll, direct mail–the paper in your mailbox–is consumers’ preferred marketing channel over e-mail. Conducted by Epsilon, a multichannel marketing company, the poll collected responses from 2,226 U.S. consumers last August. Of those, 65% strongly agreed that they get too many emails, and 75% said they receive “a lot of emails I don’t open.”

Epsilon’s report, “The Formula for Success: Preference and Trust,” says consumers would rather receive brand or product information via direct mail rather than email. That preference for marketing communication is true for almost every category, including financial services (36% to 8%), insurance (36% to 9%) and travel (21% to 13%).

Can you believe that paper still rules? Is that true for you? What’s been your experience?