In today’s business world, intangible assets can represent up to 80% of a company’s value. Culture is a key driver of that value, and so the need for business leaders to have confidence in their organisation’s culture has never been greater. Where culture is aligned to an organisation’s purpose and values, it can help reduce risk and deliver long-term sustainable growth.
Measuring and reporting on culture has historically been labour-intensive and the results hard to interpret. However, increasing access to Big Data, new ways to apply data mining tools to culture and the skills and experience of our Corporate Integrity team are changing this. We’re digitising ‘the nose of the auditor’. As a result, companies are now efficiently obtaining a considerably richer and more accurate picture as to the cultures that influence workplace behaviours and generate value.
Our integrated cultural assessments include a range of evidence-based tools, technology and techniques that look beyond the conventional boundaries of performance and operational review, to analyse the political and social factors influencing behaviour and decision-making.
By holistically assessing culture at a micro-level, we enable clients to gain a nuanced understanding of what drives performance, pinpoint unseen risks, identify opportunities for improvements and streamline change – across teams or the entire organisation.
The importance of social and political architectures
Traditional approaches to understanding and shaping culture have typically focused on performance and operational architectures i.e. operating models, reporting structures, policies, procedures and targets, and how adherence or achievement is recognised. At EY we understand that relationships and power structures also influence behaviours and decision-making in critical, but often overlooked ways. Our innovative approach seeks to assess the social and political architectures of an organisation, as well as its performance and operational dynamics, to gain a more holistic understanding of the drivers of behaviour and culture.
The investor perspective on culture: views from EY’s Dialogue with Investors event, 27 November 2015
Our Dialogue with Investors event included a panel debate on ‘Is culture to blame for our corporate failings?’, with views from Stephen Haddrill, CEO of the FRC, Eugenia Unanyants-Jackson, Director, Head of Corporate Governance at BMO Global Asset Management EMEA, and Professor Roger Steare, The Corporate Philosopher.
An audience poll of 21 investors revealed the following insights: