CEO’s Impact on Company Culture

There was an interesting article in the 7/20/16 WSJ discussing the impact of the CEO supporting or challenging the culture. According to the research, CEO?s who adopted a leadership style counter to their company?s culture instead of reinforcing the existing values achieved better financial results and were able to implement fresh strategies. Nine months after the survey, the companies with counterculture CEO?s had a 1% to 4% greater return on assets.

My recent interviews with 20 senior executives, owners, founders of companies do not support the research results. When asked the question, ?on a scale of 1-10 how important is culture in the success of your company? the answers ranged from 8 to everything. These interviews were with a wide range of organizations from non-profits, long established companies (70 years) to early stage hi-tech rapidly growing companies.

I would suggest that much more information is required before any judgement can be made about the approach a CEO should take relative to creating and sustaining a high performance culture.

Charlie Martin

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