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Fixing positive change: Creating an efficient corporate culture with a piece of string, a hammer and a bell

Mark Thomas (Grenoble EM, Grenoble, France.)

Strategic Direction

ISSN: 0258-0543

Article publication date: 12 January 2015

Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to outline how tangible objects can encourage more efficient working practices and how they can be powerful tools for leading change within an organisation. It looks specifically at how Toyota, Haier and IDEO have very powerful symbols and the type of behaviour this wish to encourage with the company.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper discusses the use of objects as powerful symbols and relates this to three specific companies.

Findings

It might seem strange to denote core values through such things as a long piece of rope running through a factory, a sledgehammer attached to a company wall and a small bell that is occasionally rung in meetings. Chosen carefully, however, and with real meaning behind them, those objects can be very powerful symbols that have a lasting impact on corporate culture and can encourage positive change within the organisation.

Originality/value

This article outlines how tangible objects can encourage more efficient working practices and how they can be powerful tools for leading change within an organisation.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The author would like to thank Dr Ananth Raman, Harvard Business School, for his excellent account of production at Toyota and also for the inspiration derived from his courses in Operations Management and more specifically from him as a professor.

Citation

Thomas, M. (2015), "Fixing positive change: Creating an efficient corporate culture with a piece of string, a hammer and a bell", Strategic Direction, Vol. 31 No. 2, pp. 1-3. https://doi.org/10.1108/SD-01-2015-0002

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited