Mergers are supposed to provide a great opportunity for those involved. A large recruiting campaign is supposed to help the business. Re-organizations are designed to simplify companies, but all of these events can create some complicated problems. The most common challenge during cultural change is the conflict and resistence that develops between the old values and the new values.

In 2004, a major cultural change like this was underway at a large marketing services company based in the United States. A lot of new people had been brought in from different corporate cultures, and the competing views were producing conflict. The company called on one of our partners, Ellen Moran, to find out what strategies they needed to effectively lead their people.

"There seemed to be a lot of turmoil in the company," Moran said. "The client was too traditional in their thinking, and we had to connect culturally to these different world views."


Enter the VSQ

She suggested they do a cultural study, using iWAM and VSQ questionnaires to analyze the employees. Specifically, she targeted the 30 high-potential employees in the leadership program. She compared their profiles to the overall company culture, which she found by randomly sampling 100 employees.

The VSQ, or Value Systems Questionnaire, provided a clear answer to why things were going wrong. Using the colors associated with the Graves Value Systems model, Moran explained that three separate value sets were clashing: green, orange, and blue. The leaders needed to understand the differences within these groups, and how to manage them. Moran's idea was that the company needed a "yellow" value system, which is associated with balance, win-win partnerships, and uniting any competing mindsets.

Together, the client and Moran implemented action learning groups across different levels of business, benchmarks, and programming in educational pieces that is designed to develop a yellow mindset. After one year, the company reported satisfaction with jobEQ's tools, and ordered that the leadership development be expanded from the 30 high-potential employees to all leaders in the company.

Organizational change can be an intimidating and complicated event, but with a helping hand, any organization can make it through.

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last modified: 2006/Aug/07 15:57 UTC