The Nokia Mobile Phones (NMP) launched 15 new products in 2001 doubled it to 30 in 2002 and were on track to meet or exceed that in 2003. The company has been first to market with a number of hot innovations. When it came out with the first phone to features a built in cameras for example it had the market to itself for nearly six months because competitors weren’t prepared. Another first was a phone with a fold out keyboard to use for e-mail.
Nokia managers encourage uninhibited dabbling whereby people feel free to try crazy ideas and never shirk from making mistakes. To spur creativity and fresh thinking people are rotated to different jobs and divisions – a lawyer might be shifted to running a division or a network engineer moved to handset design. The company also keeps divisions and teams small and gives them the power to implement their ideas. Friendly internal competitions celebrate individual creativity, such as photo contests where employees take pictures of their vacation homes or favorite pets with Nokia camera phones.
Nokia faces challenges as the mobile phone market matures and market share has been dropping as consumers turn to less expensive mid range cell phone models from Samsung and Motorola. The history of Nokia indicates that it isn’t afraid to take a dramatic turn if the environment demands it: In its lifetime , Nokia has gone from manufacturing paper to making rubber boots, the raincoat , hunting rifles, and consumer electronics before concentrating on cellular phones.
Most companies in the electronic industry as well as those involved in e-commerce cosmetics, and fashion also use an adaptability culture because they must move quickly to respond to rapid changes in the environment.
A result oriented culture that values competitiveness personal initiative and achievement.
The achievement culture is suited to organizations that are concerned with serving specific customers in the external environment but without the intense need for flexibility and rapid change. This is a result oriented culture that values competitiveness, aggressiveness, personal initiative, and willingness to work long and hard to achieve results. An emphasis on winning and achieving specific ambitious goals is the glue that holds the organization together. Siebel Systems, which sells complex software systems, has thrived on an achievement culture. Professionalism and aggressiveness are core values. Employees are forbidden to eat at their desks or to decorate with more than one or two personal photographs. People who succeed at Siebel are focused competitive and driven to win. Those perform and meet stringent goals are handsomely rewarded, those who don’t are fired.
The involvement culture has an internal focus on the involvement and participation of employees to rapidly meet changing needs from the environment. This culture places high value on meeting the culture needs of employees, and the organization may be characterized by a caring family like atmosphere. Managers emphasize values such as cooperation consideration of both employees and customers and avoiding status differences.
The final category of culture
The consistency culture has an internal focus and a consistency orientation or a stable environment. Following the rules and being thrifty are valued and the culture supports and rewards a methodical rational orderly way of doing things . In today’s fast changing world, few companies operate in a stable environment and most managers are shifting towards cultures that are more flexible and in tune with changes in the environment. However, one thriving new company Pacific Edge Software has successfully implemented elements of a consistency culture, ensuring that all its projects are on time and within the budget.
Each of these four categories of culture can be successful. In addition organization usually has values that fall into more than one category. The relative emphasis on various cultural values depends on the needs of the environment and the organization’s focus. Managers are responsible for instilling the cultural values the organizations needs to be successful in its environment.
Excerpts from New Era of Management.