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Shaping a Culture that Drives Agility and Innovation

CEOs ponder the intangible asset that can make or break a company’s future.

Recognition and Rewards

Finally, recognition and rewards can play a pivotal role in transforming a company’s culture, said Hart, who noted that companies should be very clear about defining the criteria for recognition. “Let’s say you have pinpointed agility as a value. You need to have a clear behavioral definition of what that means,” he explained. “It can’t be fuzzy and hazy. “

While rewards can range from verbal acknowledgement in a public forum to formal and extrinsic, such as compensation or promotions, they should be frequent and highly visible. “It’s about catching people doing the right things and giving them feedback on a daily or weekly basis,” he said. “It should be bold and obvious: Fred got a bonus because he did this.”

Often, the most effective rewards are not necessarily compensation-related, noted Lazarus, who pointed out that companies should consider what will be most visible to employees. “The next assignment has always worked best in our organization,” she said. “We need to be more thoughtful about putting the people who are really driving change forward for the next new thing, the next sexy assignment. I don’t think anything will inform the organization about our values as [much as] who’s getting the plum assignments.”

CEO Roundtable Participants

Carla Cooper, President & CEO, Daymon Worldwide • J.P. Donlon, Editor-in-Chief, Chief Executive • Mark Dorman, CEO, Wolters Kluwer Law & Business North America • Thomas L. Harrison, Chairman, Diversified Agency Services • Jim Hart, President & CEO, Senn Delaney • Bill Hewitt, CEO Kalido • Surya Kant, President, TCS North America • Shelly Lazarus, Chairman Emeritus, Ogilvy & Mather • Joel Lehman, President, Global Services – Climate Solutions, Ingersoll Rand • Nicholas Pinchuk, Chairman & CEO, Snap-on Tools • Ralph Scozzafava, Chairman & CEO, Furniture Brands International • Rajiv Tandon, CEO, Technosoft Corporation


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