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At present, my team and I are working with another large technology company that, like many others these days, is in the midst of business transformation involving a stark transition from being a producer of products to becoming a provider of technology solutions, with emphasis on services/consulting. To its credit, this company has tackled head on the workforce planning implications of its business shift. But like Digitt above, they too have a reward structure that does not consistently value the capabilities and behaviors required to support their new business model. And like Digitt, they have a very strong culture reflecting the values and attitudes of their founders and early hires. They have the facts now to understand what needs to change in their reward structure to drive business change. But is this enough? Can the direction provided by impersonal "evidence" overcome the influence of a powerful, if outdated, organization culture that has come to define what this company is, especially for those who lead it? Sometimes, in our work, developing the facts and drawing/sharing appropriate conclusions is not enough. We also need to deal with the psychology of historically successful leaders who are strongly vested in the culture they helped create. That's often far harder than even the most sophisticated analytics we provide and certainly requires a different skill set.

Rational logic imposed from outside has little chance of success against the inertia of engrained history and established internal culture. A lot of persistent focus and sustained effort will be required to produce meaningful change, I fear.


Thanks for sharing your experience, perspective and questions here. You've helped clarify the nature of the challenge we face in these situations and the fact that we'll need to draw on a skill set beyond what that in which many of us feel most secure to address it.


Agree that we are talking about moving a mountain here - and need to fully appreciate the nature of the task.

My thanks to both of you for extending the conversation!

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