ENTREPRISES & STRATÉGIES — Services & Conseils

Tatjana Von Bonkewitz (Hofstede Insights)

“Organisational culture is a relative concept”



Tatjana von Bonkewitz: “The organisational culture of one of the GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) companies may not serve a bank, a hospital or an army and vice versa.”  (Photo: Hofstede Insights)

Tatjana von Bonkewitz: “The organisational culture of one of the GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) companies may not serve a bank, a hospital or an army and vice versa.” (Photo: Hofstede Insights)

As part of the 10x6 Leadership: Corporate cultures that make sense, organised by the Paperjam Club on Thursday 30 January, one of the speakers, Tatjana von Bonkewitz (Hofstede Insights), shares with us her vision of corporate culture.

Why do we need organisational culture?

Tatjana von Bonkewitz. – “Organisational culture is a key element to support the strategy of an organisation. The latter has clear goals whose achievement is either enabled or hindered by the organisational culture. Notably in periods of strategic change, the organisational culture has to be adapted in order to successfully implement the new strategy.

Particularly Millennials and Generation Z employees are very much attracted to the culture of an organisation. It is therefore crucial for companies to have a clear culture, to live and breathe it in order to attract and retain talent.

How do you determine the organisational culture?

“When determining the organisational culture, we describe ‘how people do things around here’ or, as Professor Geert Hofstede defines it, ‘the way people in an organisation relate to each other, to their work and to the outside world compared to other organisations’.

We ask those people who live the culture, the employees, how they see and live the organisation. Examples are: which kind of behaviour is rewarded or reprimanded, how are tasks executed and how do members of an organisation interact and relate to the outside world. The results are then compared to big data and the specific culture is described along six dimensions (or indicators) of organisational culture.

Organisational culture is a relative concept, a culture that enables one specific strategy may not enable another strategy. The organisational culture of one of the GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) companies may not serve a bank, a hospital or an army and vice versa.

To understand whether the measured, actual culture serves the strategy of the organisation, we define along those six dimensions an optimal culture together with the senior management. In a subsequent step, gaps are identified and addressed in a change program as outlined in the image below.

Gaps are identified. (Graphique: DR)

Gaps are identified. (Graphique: DR)

I will illustrate organisational culture during the Paperjam event 10x6 on January 30th.

How would you describe your company culture and what impact does it have on the company’s strategy?

“Our culture can be best described by the following characteristics:

- Hofstede Insights is a goal-oriented organisation where every consultant focuses on delivering the right solution for the client in an agile manner.

- Hofstede Insights has a highly customer-focused culture putting client’s needs first.

- Hofstede Insights has an easy-going culture balanced with well-defined processes.

- Hofstede Insights promotes professional attitude in the organisation encouraging development and expertise.

These elements of the company culture enable us to operate at the top end of the market and to continuously implement our strategy.

Our strategy is: helping our clients to manage the impact of culture on their daily work and life.
Tatjana von Bonkewitz

Tatjana von Bonkewitz,  Hofstede Insights

Our strategy is: helping our clients to manage the impact of culture on their daily work and life and do this in a sustainable, repeatable and data-driven way.

This strategy is implemented through promoting an internal environment where independent consultants benefit from a strong brand and centralized support services to deliver the best service to our clients.

In 2016, when the strategy was shaped, we defined the ideal culture to enable this strategy.

Becoming more global, going beyond the European cultures was one of the key elements.

We therefore:

- Expanded geographically and increased the local presence from 23 to 61 countries,

- Increased the number of consultants globally from 41 to 150,

- Diversified the professional competencies,

- Developed further tools based on our research.

The successful implementation of this strategy in three years was only possible due to the above described strong company culture of Hofstede Insights.

Early 2019 we remeasured our culture and the results confirmed the earlier mentioned elements. This culture has enabled us to attract and grow our leading-edge global client base whilst remaining a small and agile organisation.”

Les inscriptions au  10x6 Leadership: Corporate cultures that make sense  sont ouvertes sur le site du  Paperjam Club .