Everyone’s talking about the need for a change of culture. But what exactly does this mean? (And how can you change a culture without burning all your bridges?)

It may initially sound pretty harmless, maybe even a little philosophical. When, however, companies begin discussing a change of culture, this usually means tough strategies for survival. The objective is, quite simply, to review all the familiar, well-trodden paths and modify them to fit current and future circumstances.

The situation experienced by a Global DiVision client in the mail order segment is a good illustration of this. We can all imagine the challenges that an international company must overcome to achieve the transformation from a mail order vendor offering a product catalog that has become ever more extensive over the decades to a global online retailer in just a few years.

When doing so, the business model and technical implementation weren’t the only things to be impacted by the change of culture. The people behind the processes also had to feel invested and adjust to the new situation. The way in which they worked and thus how their working day was structured also changed.

This type of process never ends – something that companies and their employees must be aware of. Our world is changing at an ever accelerating pace and we must implement corresponding changes into our processes if we wish to remain competitive. This does not, however, mean that existing structures are automatically bad and obsolete. Ideally, the perfect solution should preserve all that is good about the past, sensitively modernizing certain aspects while melding them with new, innovative ideas. Ensuring a successful change of culture, not a culture shock.

An extract of how we accompany intercultural change you will find here…