Page 4: Organisational Culture
Values also influence how the culture develops within a business. Organisational culture is comprised of the values, attitudes, beliefs, meanings and norms that are shared by people and groups within an organisation. For example, the culture within an organisation affects how employees behave, how they make decisions and how they solve business problems. The culture of an organisation which develops over time is very powerful and has been described as the DNA of a business. You can quickly get a feel for the culture of an organisation just by looking around and talking to the people who work for it.
“We invest a lot of time and energy into ensuring our business operations are closely aligned with our values and our responsibilities to communities and the world around us. To make this a little easier, we manage our operations according to a “Cultural Compass” that guides our day-to-day dealings with customers, communities and one another.”
Although every organisation has a culture, no two cultures are necessarily the same, so while Enterprise and Burnt Tree were both in the vehicle industry and there were similarities in terms of heritage, private ownership and branch autonomy, there were also differences.
Many Burnt Tree employees were nervous about being acquired by a global, multi-billion dollar U.S corporation.
However, an important aspect of managing the change through the acquisition process was taking steps to merge the two cultures. An integration programme was developed and implemented with representatives from the senior management teams of both companies to ensure a smooth transition of all aspects of the business:
“Since Enterprise acquired Burnt Tree, the management team has implemented a considered integration programme to create a single entity.”
Through the implementation programme it became clear to the integration team that Enterprise and Burnt Tree shared many of the same values in terms of fairness, teamwork and placing the customer at the heart of the business. Both Enterprise and Burnt Tree succeeded by conducting their respective businesses with these principles underpinning their culture.
Strong leadership is also important in driving the values and shaping the culture of an organisation.