Category Archives: Culture Change and Social Media

Domino’s reinvents and transforms itself almost overnight

Patrick Doyle took on the CEO role in January of this year right in the middle of a major transition…

Customer’s feedback on Domino’s was increasingly negative and Doyle has used this to great effect as a catalyst for change and reinvention of their core product offerings, making them fresher more real and less “cardboard”

This is a great example of using customer insight/feedback to reinvent an organization, shake it out of complacency and really take it to the competition in a short period of time. Time will tell if they are really delivering on the new strategy but from an outsiders point of view Mr Doyle is providing a great example of what it takes to quickly energize a company and transform its offering almost overnight….

Will Apple maintain its culture when Steve leaves?

I had an interesting discussion last night in relation to what our company does, help senior leaders build ever alert enterprizes by raising their level of cultural sense-ability. What does that mean? essentially creating a company culture that is completely focused on creating value for customers, with every person understanding their role in how to achieve the company’s vision and mission by serving their customers better than anyone else.

Durign the discussion the topic of Apple was raised, with someone suggesting they would decline when Steve Jobs retired.

On the face of the evidence in the past when he left the company the first time you could argue that it may well lose the fire and leadership it has with him at the helm…. However things are different this time. What is different is that Steve has built a leadership team around him that share his vision, mission and values for what the company is all about and why it has become great.
Tim Cook the current COO was quoted earlier in the year on

“We believe that we are on the face of the earth to make great products and that’s not changing. We are constantly focusing on innovating. We believe in the simple not the complex. We believe that we need to own and control the primary technologies behind the products that we make, and participate only in markets where we can make a significant contribution. We believe in saying no to thousands of projects, so that we can really focus on the few that are truly important and meaningful to us. We believe in deep collaboration and cross-pollination of our groups, which allow us to innovate in a way that others cannot. And frankly, we don’t settle for anything less than excellence in every group in the company, and we have the self-honesty to admit when we’re wrong and the courage to change. And I think regardless of who is in what job those values are so embedded in this company that Apple will do extremely well.”

This demonstrates a deep understanding of what drives success for Apple, these are the same elements we measure in our Market Responsiveness Index (MRI). So long as Apple can remain strong in its depth of understanding of customers, competitors, critical market trends and at the same time continue to foster this cross-pollination they will remain leaders, growing faster and at higher rates of profitability than every competitor they face.

Why United must change its culture

There has been a interesting phenomenon occurring over the past few months relating to a poor United customer experience. This was not any customer however, it was David Carroll, lead singer of the Canadian band “Sons of Maxwell”. I will let David take up the story in his words from here:

“In the spring of 2008, Sons of Maxwell were traveling to Nebraska for a one-week tour and my Taylor guitar was witnessed being thrown by United Airlines baggage handlers in Chicago. I discovered later that the $3,500 guitar was severely damaged. They didn’t deny the experience occurred but for nine months the various people I communicated with put the responsibility for dealing with the damage on everyone other than themselves and finally said they would do nothing to compensate me for my loss. So I promised the last person to finally say “no” to compensation (Ms. Irlweg) that I would write and produce three songs about my experience with United Airlines and make videos for each to be viewed online by anyone in the world.”

Here is the 1st song, now with almost 5 million views…

Another strong message to the leadership about United’s need to fundamentally change its organizational culture, if it is to ever grow and profit in perhaps the toughest industry in the world it must develop a culture that focuses on delivering the greatest value at all times to its customers. This is an unfortunate example of again where they fall short……..

Best Buy, GE & EMC: Using Social Media to change their internal cultures

I just read a great post by Jeremiah Owyang that included this video on how best buy are using social media in a variety of ways to positively impact on their culture:

I think a key point here is that to be successful in social media, the underlying values of the users need to be about adding value, being transparent, being authentic. When these values filter into the broader organization great things can happen, new ideas evolve, changes happen faster, customer service gets better. In fact increasing Iam seeing examples of how social media can be a key enabler of what we at MCS call marketculture.

Another example is GE which uses SupportCentral as a internal tool that has been ahead of the curve since 2000 according to comments by a reader on a recent McKinsey article. Anna All also references GE in this great article about its impact and Chuck Hollis from EMC illuminates us further with his first encounter with the system.

Which tools do you think are having the greatest impact on your corporate culture?