Patrick Van der PijlThe traditional hierarchical company culture model is not transferrable in remote work. It’s not effective because CEOs communicate and interact with their teams differently now. Leaders need to embrace a flatter culture model where everyone contributes to the culture’s shape and growth. Patrick van der Pijl CEO of Business Models Inc.


HBR article by Denise Lee Yohn February 08, 2021

Company Culture Is Everyone’s Responsibility

Summary A top down approach to building company culture no longer works for several reasons. For one, Covid-19 has upended how leaders interact with employees and how coworkers connect with each other. Next, company culture has grown in importance, thanks to recent high-profile crises at big name companies. A new culture-building approach is already in place at some organizations, one in which everyone in the organization is responsible for it. Importantly, this model doesn’t relegate culture-building to an amorphous concept that everyone influences but no one leads or is accountable for. And it weaves in perspectives from employees to customers, from middle managers to the CEO.

Middle managers play a critical role in cultivating the desired culture by:

  • Ensuring the tools, environment, and intangible aspects of employees’ day-to-day worklife represent the company’s employee experience strategy
  • Applying the organization-wide culture-building objectives, strategies, and key results to the context of their group or function
  • Conducting coaching and training with employees to cultivate their engagement with the desired culture
  • Communicating and role-modeling the desired culture

The new job of the CEO and senior management team is not to hand company culture down from on high but to prioritize it and allocate the resources to ensure it.

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