Assessment of Case Study: Lion Nathan

This section applies the full BEST-tool assessment to the Lion Nathan case study. The main measurement instruments used in this case study are OCI® and LSI. Several other key performance indicators are employed in the results section.

The OCI® and LSI profiles are similar, i.e.:

■ The leadership style of the CEO at the time was predominately Defensive as was the culture of the organization. On both profiles, the extensions along the Defensive styles (3 o'clock to 10 o’clock) were stronger than those along the Constructive styles (11 o’clock to 2 o’clock).

■ On both profiles, the extensions on the styles to the left (task orientation) were stronger than those on the styles to the right (people orientation). This indicates that the CEO exhibited an orientation toward tasks rather than people and that behavioral norms similarly emphasized tasks over people (Figure 5-2).

Top management wants to develop a Constructive organizational culture; i.e. the surface of the styles 11 o’clock to 2 o’clock are much larger than the Defensive styles. See Figure 5-3.

Once the desired situation (i.e. target) is clearly defined, the transformation process can start.

Comparison of the Lion Nathan company's culture (measured by the OCI®) at the start of the transformation process and the CEO's leadership styles (measured by the LSI 2)

Figure 5.2 Comparison of the Lion Nathan company's culture (measured by the OCI®) at the start of the transformation process and the CEO's leadership styles (measured by the LSI 2).

Lion Nathan organized LSI workshops for the leaders. These workshops guided the leaders to personal action plans for change.

The research Lion Nathan conducted on change and its participation in a series of change workshops in 1997, combined with a collaborative approach to problem solving, provided some key insights which led the company to develop its cultural transformation strategy around three pillars:

■ Create a sense of purpose, vision, and values.

■ Develop leadership capability (developing competencies of leaders).

■ Reinforce the desired behaviors through people management processes and systems.

One hundred and fifty of Lion Nathan’s top leaders came together in 2004 to test the values (act with integrity, passion, achieving together, and being sociable) and core purpose (“To make our world a more sociable place”). Their levels of commitment were very high (>94%).

Every two years, Lion Nathan rolls out a leadership development program. The emphasis was on self-coaching: giving leaders the tools to be able to develop themselves and continue building their own capacity. At their most recent leadership conference, one of the themes was about building trust and the impact that trust can have on relationships.

Organizational Culture Inventory®

Figure 5.3 Organizational Culture Inventory® (OCI®). Ideal culture 1998. N = 108. Research and development by Robert Cooke, PhD and J. Clayton Lafferty, PhD. Copyright © 1973 by Human Synergistics International; all rights reserved.

Leadership drives cultural transformation through:

■ A motivating sense of purpose

■ Talent management

■ Future focus

■ Creating a high-performance culture, using OCI® as a template

Important Preliminary Remarks

The Lion Nathan Best Practice case study is about change in company culture (transition from a Defensive culture to a Constructive one) and the change in thinking styles of Lion Nathan leaders from Defensive thinking styles toward Constructive ones. Therefore, the authors focus the BEST- assessment on this process of cultural change.

The Best Practice described here is the process of a progressive and systematic change in company culture (from a mainly Defensive culture toward a Constructive one). Therefore, we investigate only the process leading to this change. This also means that we don’t need to consider other stakeholders (customers, consumers, community, collaborators, suppliers, etc.). However, there is a high probability that these results and relationships are also excellent. If we wanted to assess the impact of Lion Nathan’s processes with all stakeholders, we would need to perform an assessment of the whole company. However, this is the subject of excellence models such as Malcolm Baldrige or the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM). We limit our book to Best Practices, i.e. the assessment of one process leading to corresponding excellent results.

This change process is an enabling element; i.e. it is an approach or method. From an active application of an enabler, we expect to achieve better results. As a consequence, we need to explain at the beginning of the case study how this change in culture impacts the strategic goals of the company. Therefore, we need to review the targets at the start of the change program. The text of the case study does not provide this information. That the initial company targets are not included in the case study explains our findings and comments in the assessment process (see further in the assessment tables: Plan, Do, Check, and Act).

There is not only a direct relationship and impact of an enabler on the results, but it can also be seen how the approaches are improved based on feedback and learning from the results achieved (see Figure 5.4). This case study explains these improvements well.

The BEST-tool consists of four building blocks:

  • 1 Enabler
  • 2 Results
  • 3 Management of process
  • 4 Process format
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