The Role of Company Culture in Business Success

company culture

The Corporate World is Restructuring Company Culture

Your company culture matters more than ever. Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends 2016 survey, “The new organization: Different by design,” maps and draws connections between the talent, leadership, and competitiveness challenges organizations around the world face.

This year’s data indicates a shift: CEOs and HR leaders are more focused on culture as a source of competitive advantage than ever, and they are turning to restructuring their organizations to increase employee engagement and retention, improve leadership, and build the kind of meaningful culture that drives success.

To put this in perspective, the 2016 study found that for the first time, 90% of respondents are restructuring or are planning to do so.

What’s the thinking behind all this restructuring? These companies are fostering highly empowered teams that are driven by a new model of management and led by globally diverse leaders. They are striving to transform themselves to be better and “different by design.” They are making a shift away from hierarchical, functional business models toward cross-functional “networks of teams” in an effort to become more agile, more collaborative, and more attuned to customers. These companies are transforming the way they do business in order to foster a culture of enhanced performance.

And with these transformations, we’ve seen company culture play a greater role in a business’s strategy. Fully 82% of respondents view workplace culture as a potential source of competitive advantage. Over 50% of the companies surveyed say that they are actively attempting to change their company culture. Yet, there is evidence indicates that leaders are “awakening” to the importance of culture. Fewer than 12% of those surveyed say that they understand what their company culture is.

People ask us all the time how to create a stronger and more innovative culture. This type of change isn’t easy or fast, but when you get it right, it can drive innovation and competitive differentiation in a way that’s good for your business and creates a more committed, creative, and even happier workforce.

Brand strategy has a very direct connection to the issue of culture change, and investing in brand strategy is fast becoming the norm for smart companies who want to create strong cultures and build meaningful engagement with their teams to drive business. When employees know why the brand matters – what is driving the behavior of the company and its values – they can align in ways that outperform the competition.


As you reflect on brand strategy and cultural change, here are our top recommendations for meaningfully transforming your business:

  • Develop a purpose-led brand promise for your brand
  • Help employees understand how to live this promise
  • Take a good, objective look at your organizational design
  • Be transparent in your interactions with employees
  • Make sure leaders and managers are leading by example
  • Be clear with employees on why your brand matters
  • Create a physical working environment that fosters the culture you want
  • Recruit with the brand promise in mind to attract like-minded people

The data from Deloitte paints a compelling picture of executives getting serious about understanding and managing culture as a linchpin their business’s strategy and transformation. For company leaders who are committed to building a better “different by design” organization, the best step forward is to integrate your brand strategy with your transformation or restructuring plan.

Please follow this link to read Deloitte’s survey.

For further insights on company culture, please enjoy our white paper on Meaningful Workplaces.

Emotive Brand is a San Francisco branding agency.

Comments (5)

  1. In order to influence and understand your customers, you need to know what those triggers are and how to utilize them in your memessage.

    Have an excelent day!!

    • Thanks Ernesto!

  2. Great data. Too bad most of these respondents that think “culture” as a source of competitive advantage think engagement and other climate measures cover culture and completely miss the underlying expectations/norms/unwritten rules that are actually driving the vast majority of behavior in organizations. At least awareness is growing and that will eventually lead to a true understanding of the importance of climate/engagement AND the underlying culture.

  3. A former CEO of my company once said: competitors can copy our products and even our organisation chart but they cannot copy our culture.

  4. So true, culture is the blood stream of organizational anatomy

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