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Lear Corporation

(adapted from Gill and DiDonato 2015)

Background

Recovering from a period of bankruptcy, the organisation was forced by the financial crisis to seek efficiency savings and radically alter its business model.

Action

Working from an individual and organisational values perspective, HR focused on embedding cultural change through four enabling phases of culture change.
 
Table: Lear Corporation – four phases of leadership cultural change (adapted from Gill and DiDonato 2015)
 
Phase Description
Awareness
  • communicating the culture change initiative through internal publicity collateral, such as mouse pads, posters and so on
  • leaders were integral in communicating the change programme frequently through clear and coherent messaging, fit for all levels of the organisation to understand.
Learning
  • training and development across cohorts of middle managers about new business behaviours, and cultural assessment techniques in team environments
  • away days exploring new behaviours, led by senior executives.
Practice
  • shifting business practice from short term to long term by altering the way people framed the organisation, their role and their relationships
  • updated performance management programme to embed and assess values-based behaviours and reward appropriately
  • restructuring and redundancy of roles which do not fit the new cultural model, including bad-behaving high-performers.
Accountability
  • assessment after six months’ participation in the leadership development programme; after extensive learning and development programmes, including sharing across management level to ensure development conversations include values-based assessment
ensure that leaders in the programme own changes that are made to enable the new culture to develop, and encourage sharing of expertise across the organisation, including from senior leadership level.
 

Impact

What the Lear case illustrates is the importance of structured leadership development and engagement programmes that address critical challenges that the business has recognised through assessment and development. As the case study concludes, the effects and impacts of the cultural change programme will not be understood until beyond the end of the first tranche of activity; however, initial signs of business performance uplift are encouraging, and show that the change initiative is having the right impact on the competitive edge of the business
(Gill and DiDonato 2015).

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