Business Climate Shifts. Profiles of Changem Makers by W. Warner Burke, William Trahant and Richard Koonce (Auth.)

By W. Warner Burke, William Trahant and Richard Koonce (Auth.)

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Are leaders aligned around the vision and business strategies of the organization? In what ways do leaders communicate a sense of direction throughout the organization? Culture. How would you describe the culture of your organization? What explicit (and implicit) characteristicsbehaviors, rituals, stories, symbols, norms, and beliefsdefine and reinforce a sense of culture in your organization? 28 BUSINESSCLIMATE SHIFTS Typical Organizational Assessment Questions (Transactional Factors) Once we’ve asked questions about transformational factors, we address how things work at an operational level in the organization.

There were many reasons: weak operations, poor budget control, sluggishness in dealing with market shifts, management arrogance, and a corporate culture that rewarded people as strategic thinkers but not as effective retailers. “Over the years, Shell built up structures and mechanisms that were almost unchangeable, says Marshall. ” ” Retail is Details One of these was the company’s performance appraisal process. “Retail is about detail, but we were punishing people for detail. ’ So everybody tried to be a strategic thinker.

Yet the company is involved today in a massive effort to reinvent itself-at both a global and “local”level. There are several reasons for this. First, company executives are cautious about the future profitability of the oil and energy industries, and, given the recent drop in crude oil prices to just $10 a barrel (with no expectation of near-term improvement), this is a valid concern. On top of that, 1998 was not the most profitable year for the oil and energy giant, which has created a heightened sense of urgency inside Shell about how it operates.

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