SOURCE: Booz & Company

Booz & Company

November 19, 2013 08:00 ET

Corporate Culture Is Critical to Business Success, Yet Mismanaged and Underleveraged, Finds Booz & Company Survey

Survey Examines Global Perceptions of Culture and Its Role in Organizational Transformation

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Nov 19, 2013) - Culture is critically important to business success worldwide, according to 84 percent of the more than 2,200 participants in the 2013 Culture and Change Management Survey, conducted by the Katzenbach Center at Booz & Company. Sixty percent said culture even outranks strategy and operating model in order of importance. However, there is a clear disparity between the way companies view culture and the way they treat it. Less than half of participants saw their companies effectively managing culture. More than half said a major cultural overhaul was needed, and 96 percent of respondents said some change to company culture was required.

"We knew from our work with clients that culture was important, but the fact that it is consistently considered to be critical to business success across the regions we surveyed, from the Americas, to Europe, to the Middle East and Asia-Pacific, is incredibly telling," said Rutger von Post, a partner at Booz & Company. "The single biggest surprise to me was that a full 51 percent of respondents believe their organization's culture is in need of a major overhaul."

Survey findings also suggest strong correlations between the success of change programs and the leveraging (or lack of it) of culture as a driving force behind the efforts. Of those surveyed, only about half (54 percent) said the results of change programs were sustained over time. In fact, the use of cultural levers, such as activation of informal peer networks and the linking of change to organizational pride, made for transformation initiatives that were twice as likely to succeed as those that left culture out of the equation.

"In my view, the most significant finding from the survey is that organizations aren't leveraging elements of their existing culture to sustain change," said DeAnne Aguirre, a senior partner at Booz & Company. "We clearly saw that a much more holistic approach, one that leverages assets like informal networks and storytelling, is required if companies want to see the effects of their change programs stand the test of time."

In May 2013, the Katzenbach Center at Booz & Company surveyed a diverse group of 2,219 executives of varying seniority, company size, and function to better understand global perceptions of culture and its impact on change.

Key findings:

  • 84 percent of respondents and 86 percent of C-suite respondents believe that their organization's culture is critical to business success.
  • 60 percent said culture is more important than the company's strategy or operating model.
  • 96 percent said some form of culture change is needed within their organization.
  • 51 percent believe their organization is in need of a major culture overhaul.
  • 45 percent do not think their culture is being effectively managed.
  • 48 percent do not think they have the capabilities required to deliver lasting change.
  • At 57 percent, skepticism due to past failed efforts was the number one reason for resistance to change.
  • 70 percent of those respondents whose changes were adopted and sustained leveraged organizational pride and emotional commitment.

Please visit for the full findings and a report on what organizations can do now to make changes that last.

About Booz & Company

Booz & Company ( is a leading global management consulting firm focused on serving and shaping the senior agenda of the world's leading institutions. Drawing on the talents and insights of more than 3,000 people in 57 offices around the world, we help our clients achieve essential advantage by working with them to identify and build the differentiating capabilities they need to outperform.

Contact Information

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    Tria Tedford
    North America Marketing
    Booz & Company
    Telephone: +1-617-470-7724
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