Alexis Assimacopoulos

Guest Contributor

Does one “Lead” a Corporate Culture project…?

Date added: 14th Apr 2016
Category: Organisational Culture Change

When culture change projects end up more like a boxing match

In my previous post, I looked at how Corporate Culture was like a woolly mammoth. So, if Corporate Culture is the big woolly mammoth, then who are the right people in the organisation to ‘lead the hunt’ (or perhaps more importantly, does a hunt even need to take place)? Is it Senior Management, is it Human Resources, or is it something else…?

This ethereal dilemma is pretty much like the Merryweather – Pacquiao “fight”: it sounds like the “fight of the century” on paper (even though this century isn’t even old enough to drink), gets hyped up to pandemically feverish heights, but ends up being more boring than watching paint dry and leaving you feeling jaded about the subject thereafter.

The real problem isn’t that the ‘wrong’ people may be leading this endeavour- and needs to be ‘owned’ by the “right” people (which many people argue is the case), it’s that there is no consistency from those in the ‘know’. While the ‘leaders’ of Corporate Culture project are generally the port of call for everyone else (who believe they are on the ‘outer rim’ of the “culture” universe) this job is actually more than just about being a figurehead for a ‘fluffy’ project geared towards corporate snakes and ladders.

If anyone out does happen to become entangled in this tenuous position- trying to grapple with Corporate Culture- always remember that while having Senior Management buy-in is essential to the process of culture shift, it is actually MORE important to realise that EVERYONE IMPACTS ON THE CULTURE– even the cleaner who comes in every second Thursday in the summer. Everyone influences the culture…however, the higher up the corporate ladder you go, the more influence is held.

Some might think that these projects need nice branding, a catchy slogan, and the “right” people leading. Again, this is all good and dandy, but just remember how well branded the Merryweather -Pacquiao fight was…and how boring it ended up being…yeah…

Doing a corporate culture project may well be like a boxing match- but it certainly isn’t Merryweather Vs. Pacquaio. If anything it’s more like Tyler Durden Vs. Tyler Durden- and the analogy works on EVERY level trust me J

The most important aspect of cultural diagnosis isn’t leadership of the culture- it is that light, deft touch from the [insert relevant HR/OD/OE/Change department name here] who need to be aware of the MASSIVE task ahead of them, and prepare accordingly.

Addressing Corporate Culture isn’t meant to be a squabble for who leads the project, it’s about consistency and communication. (Pic Source:

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