Michael LoebbertMichael Loebbert A Question of Culture

09/22/2008 by Michael Loebbert

Perhaps you know the history of the PT Cruiser. Sure, you have seen this car on the street, the look is retro, fuel consumption is too high, technology and security are average. When Daimler joined in the responsibility for Daimler Chrysler, the PT Cruiser was just launched and taken for a flop. The production was driven down and banned into a small factory in Mexico. But it came different. The demand could no longer be served and customers were dissatisfied. – Today the PT Cruiser is a sales success.

A cultural fault! In the cultural patterns for car in the U.S. are freedom feeling and originality in the first place. The PT Cruiser meets these to a great extent. German and europeen values as technology and security are the subordinate.

Success of failure within enterprises are often depending on culture:

  • Marketing. A product does not fit into a given market. – In Germany, the PT Cruiser was obviously never a winner .- Or the other way around: With new products presented cultural values no longer fit for the culture of the company. In the wake sales are stagnating.
  • Strategic Alignment. Cultural values in a company  as “security” and “stability” do not fit to the new strategy, which “entrepreneurship” and “risk”.
  • Corporate culture. From above announced corporate values such as “appreciation” and “enthusiasm” are not lived. –  In the past things ran very well with a certain “arrogance” and “skeptical”. – Cultural patterns cannot develop their potential, if stubborn management decisions take a different direction.
  • Change Management. Change and development of the company fails to the tenacity of the existing cultural patterns.

Questions of culture are (1) cultural fit and (2) cultural change: How much fit is needed and how much change is possible? And if change cultural patterns is needed, how can this best succeed? How can the cultural potential of the company to be used?

About the author:
Dr. Michael Loebbert is Coach and Management Consultant and author of the montly publication “Change Management Short Cut“.

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