Successful positioning depends on the corporate culture

We found that traditional positioning tools that define a brand from the outside perspective did not go far enough for us. We were missing the view from the inside, the focus on the “how” and “why” of our company, which also included our corporate culture. The key to this was found in the values we share and live by. Which is why, since 2013, we have based our own communication strategies on our values. To make this as clear and simple as possible, we came up with the idea of a values target. This blog post illustrates how this idea came about and how we have been using this tool in our work with medium-sized companies ever since.

The values target helps us reveal, categorise and relate the values we live by, thereby facilitating communication of the values within the organisation. Every employee can reflect on his or her own behaviour and develop it accordingly. This allows a shift in the leadership culture towards self-leadership to get off to a good start.

There was a growing need for us to enhance our position as an attractive employer. The “Great Place to Work” competition was brought to our attention by an entrepreneur friend. Taking part in this competition gave real momentum to our employer branding – and success: the following year we were awarded third best employer in Berlin Brandenburg. We also captured and presented our corporate culture in the book “Corporate Culture” – striving to inspire other companies through our example.


Developing corporate culture – our journey

But how did we get here? The guiding question was: “What should SHORT CUTS look like in 2020?” So we organised external support and used Appreciative Inquiry to uncover the strengths, wishes and visions of our team members – employees and managers alike. 

This process took about a year. Management came together for 8 half days, during which there was plenty of food for thought. It culminated in a day that involved all employees, thus giving everyone a voice. 

The result: corporate culture in 3 words

Having shared values means we can channel the energy of all the employees in the same direction. Our motto “inspire – encourage – enjoy” captures the essence of this and reveals our strong orientation towards action. These three words express our mindset and the direction we and the companies we work with want to move towards.

Our motto carries us forward and influences our work – at company level, at team level and also at individual employee level. It is so universal that it is relevant in any context and degree of complexity

We see SHORT CUTS as a place where employees and customers can flourish and thrive.
Our goal is to help companies realise their full potential as a brand and position themselves successfully in their market. 

This vision challenges all of us, which is a good thing because it unleashes our development potential. We knew that it was now important to really anchor our values and our corporate culture in our hearts and minds and to actually live them on a day-to-day basis. It was clear to us that success would take time and perseverance.

So we kept trying out new approaches to link what we do to our company credo. For example, in meetings we shared our current experiences by talking about the situations where we had inspired and convinced and what we or our customers had particularly enjoyed. At first glance, this might seem a bit time-consuming or irritating, but it makes sure that the focus is pointed in the right direction. This way of reflecting on our successes again and again in everyday life has another effect: it helps us take greater personal responsibility and adopt the mindset of a creator.

Our leadership culture is vital to the success of our corporate culture

Our management staff knew that only a strengths-based and development-oriented leadership culture would move our company forward. “An organisation that is less knowledgeable than its employees stops them from growing,” maintains our Managing Director Martin Permantier. “If you want to successfully master challenges, you have to make space for the strengths of your employees. Because only then will your company thrive.”

It was (and still is) crucial here that as employees we were given the time to develop our behaviour in a common direction. Martin Permantier explains this style of leadership as follows: “Flight altitude and speed may vary, but the important thing is that all employees are on the same path”.

Our clearly defined and lived values determine this path, act as guidelines for decisions and take the load off our management. They foster a culture of trust and give us as an organisation the strength to respond with agility to new challenges. Our corporate culture is self-evident from the get-go, and potential clients or employees can soon decide if working with us is right for them.

Attractive employer with a distinct brand

Harness your company’s full potential! Both in terms of your corporate culture and your positioning as a brand. Because what we can do, you can do too!

We are happy to share our solid leadership and brand communication skills with you, as well as our experience in developing our own corporate culture and working with medium-sized companies.