Pave your way to successful cultural change with Google

Written by: Fleming. Team

Why cultural change?

Corporate culture is a building block of any company – its values, beliefs and behaviors. It is vital for the culture to constantly evolve – otherwise there is the risk of deceleration of innovation and job losses resulting in failure on the market and losses in revenue.

Implementing a positive cultural change across your organization with all your employees on board can be a long and persistent process. When paving your path to successful cultural change, follow the advice of Kim Wylie, Head of Customer Change and Transformation at Google Cloud, UK.

4 steps to cultural change by Kim Wylie

Kim's secret to creating a unique corporate culture lies in 4 strategic steps:

1. A clear vision – When starting your cultural change, creating a clear strategic vision at the beginning of the path is vital. In order to provide the new purpose and direction of your company, new behaviors and shared values have to be defined and communicated to all the employees.

2. Applying the change at the highest levels
The impulse of the change has to first come from, and then be managed by the highest levels of your organization. Deliberate and sustained efforts from all the leaders is necessary. Senior executives have to communicate the change through their own actions. They have to lead the way in pursuing the new values and behaviors to smoothly change the mindset of their employees.

3. Support from the organizational structure
Your management approach as well as HR and IT systems have to fully support the cultural change. Kim describes it through the example of improved employee collaboration. If you wish to develop a culture of teamwork, you have to customize your reward and commission system from an individual to a team basis.

4. Hire the best fit
To accelerate the switch to your desired corporate culture, hire fresh minds that will fit it from the very beginning.

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Corporate culture the Google way

What does the corporate culture of Google, one of the most admired companies, look like? It is based around three core tenants – mission, transparency and voice. “Mission means working on things that matter and that will make a positive difference to the world,” Kim explains. “Transparency refers to how we operate internally – where we openly share across the organization, and voice means that all employees are empowered to share their ideas and feedback."

There is one more specific attribute of Google's culture. They call it Googleyness. It is a characteristic that candidates have to posses in order to get hired. “Googlyness means being passionate, a team-player, a quick learner, focused on problem solving, comfortable with ambiguity, biased towards action and having a desire to learn from mistakes.” Kim clarifies. “Diversity of backgrounds and opinions is also very important,” she adds.

Who is Kim Wylie?

Growing up in New Zealand, Kim has spent the last 11 years living and working in London, UK. After not pursuing her career in the sport of Equestrian Three-Day Eventing, she studied Marketing and Commercial Law at Victoria University. After her jobs at the National Bank of New Zealand, Thomson Reuters and various advertising agencies in London, she found the right fit at Google. Holding multiple roles in a variety of divisions within the company, she developed the change and transformation methodology which has been used by tens of thousands of organizations globally to help them use GSuite as a platform to drive business and cultural change.

To meet Kim Wylie in person and learn more about cultural change the Google way, join the HR Transformation Forum this June in Berlin 😉