A strong corporate culture is at the heart of every business success story. But that necessitates a challenging reality: to take a company to the next level, culture must evolve.

Changing culture has long been one of the most difficult jobs for any executive. But recent headlines are putting a spotlight on how problematic the task has become. As companies face heightened expectations from employees, increased turnover, and a challenging economic environment, recent  national headlines are talking about corporate culture as much, if not more than, earnings or business performance.   

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Consider initial headlines about Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter that squarely focused on how he would change the culture of the company. This contrasted Musk’s known tendency to micromanage with Twitter’s laid-back culture. With the matter now in litigation, only time will tell. I can say from my experience that Musk – like every leader – will have his work cut out for him if the acquisition proceeds.

I’ve had the great privilege to lead three successful business and corporate and transformations, paired with significant growth initiatives. In doing so, I’ve learned a few things about how to approach business success through disruption – whether it’s the culture or the operations. After all, the two are inextricably linked. 

Here’s my advice:


Clearly articulate corporate strategy. Transformational shifts often fail when teams don’t know or understand the strategy of its leadership. Don’t assume your team already knows your vision and where you’re trying to go as a company. Define the why to create buy-in among leaders and employees. Help employees understand your vision and why it will help inform business decisions now and in the future. It is imperative that you continue to repeat the corporate strategy over and over to ensure everyone (old and new) understands and buys into it.


Educate leaders and employees on the how. Help everyone understand how you will work together in order to correctly execute the strategy and ensure personal and organizational success. 

Transformational changes – whether operational or cultural – must be rooted in the why. 

Keep in mind that corporate culture means different things to different people. It needs to be employee-centric in a way that takes care of employee needs and input and builds loyalty, but culture must not be dictated solely by employees. It must support where the company is going and leaders must make the tough decisions at the right time to keep the changing culture moving in the right direction. These two realities may feel at odds with one another, but therein lies the importance of effective employee engagement that ensures employees embrace the why and the how.