Leading Culture Change: What Every CEO Needs to Know

Leading Culture Change: What Every CEO Needs to Know

Leading Culture Change: What Every CEO Needs to Know

Leading Culture Change: What Every CEO Needs to Know


Leading Culture Change: What Every CEO Needs To Know is a practical guide for top leaders who are faced with the challenge of shaping their culture to create long term, sustainable value. Culture is changeable- but only with CEO sponsorship and a methodical, best practices approach.

Author Christopher S. Dawson draws on 25 years of experience as an organizational consultant in a variety of industries to delineate five critical success factors, without which culture change is unlikely to occur. He offers practical tools and approaches to facilitate culture change, in addition to an overall framework that acts as a yardstick for seasoned and new top leaders. The book provides a "red-yellow-green" level of urgency tool for determining the degree of organizational effort required to address the gap between strategy and culture; a roadmap for culture change; and more.

After describing how to effect change, the text describes frequent scenarios, providing guidelines, an in-depth case example, and lessons for top leaders. Finally, the book outlines four essential leadership competencies- dual-horizon vision; self-awareness; team leadership; and source of inspiration- based on the requirements for leaders of any transformation.

This book is an ideal guide for today and tomorrow's top leaders- as well as a valuable supplement to management consultants' and human resource executives' professional training.


Culture is the engine of value creation. Building a consistent, strong organizational culture is one of the most important contributions a leader can make. Why? Because organizational culture is the prime mover and the accelerator, or barrier, for all other value-producing (or destroying) activities.

A distinctive, well-aligned culture creates a powerful competitive advantage, one that is difficult to duplicate. It is the medium through which any leadership initiative will be executed. Indeed, leadership priorities will only be realized to the extent that the culture allows and facilitates those priorities to come about. Culture is a first cause in creating value outcomes, and can be shaped by leaders who channel this powerful force.

The CEO and top team can shape and change culture to accelerate or hinder organizational value. This book is about how to shape culture so that it becomes an accelerator to value creation.

Why Is Culture Underutilized by Leaders?

Impediments arising from the organizational culture pose a serious risk to successful execution of any and all leadership initiatives. In extreme external conditions, overcoming those culture impediments will determine survival. Why is there such fatalism and abdication by leaders when it comes to active shaping of this critical variable? Leaders often speak eloquently about their culture, but then delegate the entire space to the Human Resources function, as though it were an accounting detail they did not need to bother with.

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