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