A step ahead of the competition – culture transformed

A photovoltaic manufacturer wanted to position itself anew strategically as well as to grow further through intensified customer and market orientation. Nevertheless, success was largely dependant on the employees and their motivation and commitment, as performance arises from culture and not the other way around. For this reason the company culture needed to be redefined and transformed for the long term.

Our goal was to positively influence the motivation and conviction of all of the employees for the long term, and particularly to get those employees who had been there “since the beginning” onboard. All of the participants were supposed to understand the transformation as a necessary coming of age.

First, we created a questionnaire to better be able to appraise the potential of the employees and the organisation itself. We shared the results from this – too heavy an emphasis on expertise as well as deficits in the personal/interpersonal area up to that point – with both the management and the employees. Then, together with the management, we considered in which fields there was a need for action. Individual teams worked out binding measures in workshops, such as that the entire leadership team regularly discuss the course and strategy of the company.

Furthermore, an event called “The Board in Dialogue” was designed to bridge the gulf between the lower management levels and the board, as well as strengthening the acceptance and trust between all of the colleagues. It was our goal to establish the middle and lower levels of management as a convincing part of the team.

After a year, we surveyed the managers and employees again, in order to see how effective the steps that were taken had been. And as a matter of fact, the leadership team had grown closer to the employees and the leadership concept was clearer than before.

Since we had integrated all of the employees into the change process from the very beginning, it was possible for the new values and rules to get established within a very short time. That the upper management had supported the cultural change without reservation and had been present at all of the events and conferences also played an important role.

Thanks to the discussion meetings, the managers recognized that it was time for a fundamental change in the company; this spark had been carried over to the entire team.