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Corporate culture, reputation and minimising risk

Corporate culture is back in the news with the publication of the Financial Reporting Council’s study into the relationship between business culture and success.

At its simplest, corporate culture is simply ‘the way we do things round here’.  It is a powerful force that grows over time and dictates how people in organisations behave and communicate.  A healthy culture is a significant intangible asset, but a poor one can lead to major scandals and corporate ruin.

The Chairman of the FRC, Sir Win Bischoff, says it is essential to ‘have a consistent and constant focus on culture, rather than wait for a crisis.  A strong culture will endure in times of stress or change’.

We couldn’t agree more.

But the report also says the majority of boards find it difficult to measure culture and spot the early signs of weakness that can balloon into the sort of crises seen at Volkswagen and in the financial sector.

This leaves them in a tight spot.  They recognise the importance of fostering a healthy organisational culture but don’t necessarily know how to identify the red flags that warn of incipient problems.

Culture Check for Business

Alder’s service Culture Check ® helps companies in all sectors do just that.

We have identified the top 10 indicators of organisational cultural health, ranging from the way the board works through to companies’ attitudes to health and safety and whistleblowing.

Through a mixture of research methods and benchmarking we analyse a company’s performance against this range of indicators.  We then present boards with an accurate picture of cultural health and explain how they can build organisational resilience and minimise reputational risk.

As the FRC report highlights, questions about how to monitor and improve corporate culture are only intensifying.  How companies react to this essential challenge will impact on their reputations for years to come.

If you want to discuss how we can help analyse or improve your company’s culture, please call us on 020 7692 5675 or email Also, download our Culture Check brochures here for more details!

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