Corporate culture can be tricky to define. Every leader knows the importance of developing a thriving corporate culture, but the concept can mean many things to many people.

Here’s what culture is — and how to build a robust and thriving one.

1. Culture is about leadership.
A leader sets an example for others to follow. In fact, the first words that every leader should speak to their team is “follow me.” An organization’s leader is always the first to define the culture. As the leader acts, the people will act. What the leader embodies, the organization will embody. One thought that effective leaders should always consider is, “What if the corporate culture looked exactly like I do as a leader?” This question is both penetrating and convicting. A leader should strive to lead in such a way that the corporate culture is a direct reflection of their leadership.

2. Culture is about storytelling.
Great corporate cultures develop through storytelling. Stories shape the identity of the organization. They teach people how to make better decisions and illustrate where people should be focusing their time and attention. Good leaders are master storytellers. Influential leaders craft stories to make essential points that his or her followers will always remember. If you want to shape a great culture, be a grand storyteller.

3. Culture is also about experiences.
Good leaders know that healthy cultures develop when people not only hear about the values of the organization but experience them firsthand. Every CEO and leader should focus on becoming their company’s chief experience officer. Experiences create memorable moments that employees will remember for years.

4. Culture is about sacrifice.
Leaders inspire their people to give more than they think possible. They challenge their employees. They ask employees to sacrifice for the greater good. It is the leader’s job to remind followers that there is always a bigger why. Every leader must examine if they have created a more prominent call to their people so that the people understand the value of their sacrifice.

5. Culture is about community.
Companies today consist of different people from different backgrounds with different skills. In spite of their differences, great leaders call people to work together in unity. Leaders of great cultures role model humility and service. Servant leaders model an example of thoughtfulness. Great cultures call people to serve each other, and employees see themselves not as individuals but as a team. Don’t sabotage your culture by only rewarding individual effort. Learn to reward both individuals and groups for company breakthroughs.

6. Culture is about commitment.
Great cultures are built by a team’s commitment. Leaders who are striving to develop a thriving culture should consider what commitment they want from their people, and ask them to commit to that greater cause.

Today, we may never be a leader who changes the world, but we can change our world by changing our culture. When leaders follow these core principles, they begin their journey of building a great culture and a thriving business.

Source: Forbes | https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2018/06/06/six-steps-to-building-a-thriving-company-culture/?sh=6303e8f62c20


Author: Dr. Awele Ohaegbu

Digital learning is knowledge that is enabled, facilitated, or mediated through technology for enhanced skills, training, and development (CIPD, 2021). It can be classified into formal, informal, and blended learning. Formal digital learning refers to the delivery of formal courses, usually for a fee. Informal digital learning is linked to knowledge sharing to support informal learning. Blended or supported learning is a combination of both formal and informal methods.

The COVID-19 pandemic spiralled a sharp switch with quicker adaptation to digital learning, as well as new technologies to support digital content such as micro-learning, user-generated content, and curated content. Other driving factors for digital learning growth include technological advances such as virtual reality-based learning, increased learner familiarity, and improved access to high-speed broadband. The disruption and recession caused by the pandemic have led to resourcing considerations of cheaper, faster, and shorter development courses for employees.

Furthermore, a prevalent requirement for employees’ upskilling due to organisational and technological changes has contributed to digital learning growth. Digital learning can also be perceived as an enabler of self-paced study patterns, giving it an edge over traditional classroom methods. According to Malhotra (2021), factors influencing knowledge interactions such as expert-based trust, organisational culture maintenance, employee autonomy management, and adequate feedback must be fully considered in virtual learning settings.

In summary, effective digital learning can be achieved through two key parameters: meaningful learning and mindful learning. Mindful learning entails the balance between interpersonal collaboration and technological mediation, while meaningful learning includes creativity, immersive teaching, and impactful engagement.


CIPD. (2021). Digital learning in a post-Covid-19 economy: A literature review. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Malhotra, A. (2021). The post-pandemic future of work. Journal of Management, 47(5), 1091-1012. DOI: 10.1177/01492063211000435


According to research published by Harvard Professors Robert Kaplan and David Norton (2008), the rate of strategy execution failure in businesses ranges from as high as 60% to 90%. Many organisations will fall short of their goals, especially when there are disruptions in the business environment within which they operate.

However, there are opportunities to set self apart and lead organisations to success, through execution acceleration and moving from a reactive to a proactive approach. The following pillars should be in place to successfully implement your plans; a clear strategic vision, the right people and culture, accountability and enterprise performance reporting.

A Clear Strategic Vision

“If you do not know where you are going, you might end up someplace else.” —Yogi Berra

Properly articulating a vision is vital for any business, particularly in a fast-paced and rapidly evolving sector. A poorly crafted and unclear vision statement will most likely lead to poor execution. Hence, a vivid vision is critical to successfully executing the strategic plan. The vision statement should clearly define unique values, success definition, and destination. It must achieve strong human connections within the organisation in order to be assured of its successful execution.

One way of getting your employees on board with the vision is to deploy The Visualisation Approach. This process entails the use of stories and visual comprehension modes to achieve a deeper connection to the vision. This approach increases group internalisation and follow-through by explicitly connecting the strategic intent to the desired execution outcomes.

Do you need to activate your vision or strategy? You can book a free consultation with us.

The Right People and Culture

“44% rank aligning the implementation of strategy to company culture as the toughest challenge.” – Cascade (2020)

Better execution starts with successfully activating strategy into the culture, yet most organisations do not usually see the line between culture and strategy execution. Even where they do, they are unable to achieve the desired impact on execution.  In truth, the successful execution of a strategy ultimately depends on individual members, especially key managers. Therefore, aligning strategy with learning and internalization, managing, measuring, and rewarding people is critical to effective strategy execution. Today’s management must put strategy activation, a strong company culture, employee competence, and experience as a priority. Otherwise, the consequences will be reflected in the strategy’s execution.

H. Pierson provides a powerful tool for aligning the culture, energies, and talent of your employees towards achieving your organization’s strategic objectives. Our Strategy Activation and Cascading Solutions close the gap in strategy development. Download our brochure.

“The ability to make good decisions regarding people represents one of the last reliable sources of competitive advantage since very few organizations are very good at it.”—Peter Drucker

Accountability and Enterprise Performance Reporting

Who in the organisation is responsible for tracking the progress of specific strategic initiatives?
How do you ensure updates are on time and accurate?
Frequently, strategic initiatives fail because no one is held accountable for their progress. When a team or multiple individuals are the “owners” of an initiative, there is no one clear-cut accountable party.

The accountability and reporting process can be broken into data collection, data analysis and reports. Data collection is the process of collating information from disparate places into one system, to enable your analysis and decision-making with as much information as possible. Data analysis entails the examination of data to learn more about the story, with the use of data visualisation to increase comprehension through charts, grids, colour-coded icons, heat maps, dashboards etc. It helps to identify what is on and off-target, as well as what is needed to adapt into existing plans based on emerging observations. Reports help to distribute findings so that team(s) can review and discuss them for decision-making purposes.

Enterprise Performance Reporting is essentially about organising performance data, so that grey areas can be quickly identified within the execution process, track improvements, and ultimately foster accountability and execution success.

Through our 30+ years of experience working with clients across multiple sectors, we know what it takes to overcome challenges in the execution of your corporate strategies. This is achieved by fully deploying our proprietary tools and techniques that drive firm-wide strategy execution.


Author: H.Pierson’s Strategy Team


Kaplan, R.S., & Norton, D.P. (2008). The Execution Premium: Linking Strategy to Operations for Competitive Advantage. Massachusetts: Harvard Business Press

Team, C. (2020, March 13). 51 Strategy Statistics and 3 Key Lessons to Help You Succeed. Retrieved from Cascade: https://www.cascade.app/blog/51-strategy-statistics

Thiru, T. (2020, February 19). How to Bridge the Gap between Vision and Execution. Retrieved from Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2020/02/19/how-to-bridge-the-gap-between-vision-and-execution/?sh=24f6e5e63548


“Dispirited, unmotivated, unappreciated workers cannot compete in a highly competitive world, to win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace” Stephen. R. Covey 

Employee engagement is fast becoming a prominent success factor in the current highly competitive marketplace. High and appropriate levels of engagements are important elements for the retention of talent, fostering employee loyalty, and improving employee motivation and organisational performance. Because employees’ engagement needs vary, taking a one-size-fits-all approach to employee experience will often mean you are not able to effectively identify and address issues that may be crucial, to the detriment and risk of employee productivity, and retention. Employee engagement strategies are best streamlined along the employee life cycle of onboarding, initial development, ongoing development, retention, and separation. 

Onboarding (0 – 3months) is the process of integrating a new hire into an organisation, its vision, mission, core values, structure, and culture. It involves making available necessary support for the new hire to be productive, as simple as car park notice for employees, or how to access and retrieve stored documents. Onboarding is often interchanged or mixed with orientation. While Orientation is important for completing routine processes and paperwork, onboarding is a comprehensive process involving management and other employees which sometimes can last more than three (3) months. If properly implemented, it is an effective employee engagement strategy capable of positively impacting employee retention within the organisation and new hire’s productivity. However excited people are to start a new job, there will be concerns about meeting the expectations of their bosses, fitting in with other team members, and figuring out how their job will contribute to the success of the organization. Onboarding is a prime opportunity for employers to assist new hires with their concerns, and ensure they settle in easily. 

Initial Development (3-24months) entails new employees establishing themselves in the organisation. Their focus shifts from developing the skills required to mastering their job functions. This creates a perfect time to speak with employees about their career ambitions and outline a clear growth plan. Initial Development is all about investing in your employees, which will ensure that people are able to meet the demands of their job and excel in the long term. For aspirants into more senior positions, it’s a way to provide the skills and training that will set them up for future success. Various and relevant developmental programs, as well as well-articulated mentorship programs, are usually impactful. Investing in employees is beyond building future assets for the organisation. Asides from helping employees to achieve their personal and professional ambitions, there will be a higher commitment on the job as well as loyalty to the organisation from the employee. 

Ongoing Development and Retention (24 months & above) is about helping employees to develop the skills to master their job role, Ongoing Development and keeping employees engaged. By the time employees have reached this phase, reasonable investment would have been channelled into their progress, to have become key knowledge-holders within their function. Employees that have been retained this long, are a valuable pool of talent for leadership positions. They have market expertise, along with an intimate understanding of how the organisation works, its systems, culture, and people. 

Separation occurs when employees decide to move on from an organisation. For some, reasons will be unrelated to negative experiences, they may have thoroughly enjoyed their time, but personal reasons encouraged them to move on. On the flip side, there will be those that decide to leave because of certain issues within internal control. Regardless of the type of experiences employees may have, the separation phase is an opportunity to have a grasp on why people are leaving. If handled in the right way, it will help understand the reasons behind employee attrition. With adequate attention and support to exiting employees, organisations can build a pool of lifelong advocates and brand alumni, from which there can be mutual benefits in the future. 

Employee engagement spans different touchpoints and diverse interactions. With a holistic view from employees’ entry up to their exit, organisations will have a better understanding and value for how their needs evolve. When an employee’s journey is broken down into clear stages, it makes it more practicable to identify the processes that need improvement, as well as the assignment of such responsibility with specific actions to different people. This enables greater positive employee experiences in multiple aspects at the same time. 

Written By 

Tosin Oluwatimilehin MNIM 

Senior Consultant 

Head, Human Resources Consulting

H. Pierson Associates Limited.


Are you considering developing a structured onboarding process, conducting an employee engagement survey, or improving the employee engagement framework? At H. Pierson we assist you with an iterative approach to your employee engagement, which aligns with the fluid nature of an individual employee’s journey within your organisation 


The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on the 5th of February 2021, instructed the identification of individuals and platforms engaged in cryptocurrency transactions with the aim of stopping its trade and facilitation. The CBN’s stance may be justifiable, as there was a growing risk and the perceived need to control what seemed like an off-the-radar path to escaping financial regulation through cryptocurrency transactions. This decision however sparked outrage, controversy and some setbacks for the rapidly growing financial technology sector, which is said to have attracted more than $600 million in foreign investment between 2014 and 2019.

In what was perceived as an attempt to cushion the crackdown, the e-naira was launched on the 25th of October 2021 as a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), issued and regulated by the apex body and pegged to the value of the naira. Although a CBDC is not a cryptocurrency, it is best described as a crypto-asset or digital asset. So, within one year, the CBN clamped down on the country’s bustling cryptocurrency engagements, it also became the first African country to own a national digital currency.

Following this on May the 11th, 2022, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published rules on the issuance, offering and custody of digital assets on its website. The 54-page document targets sponsors, issuers, domestic and international platforms that facilitate digital asset transactions, including cryptocurrencies. In what seemed to be a coincidence, these new guidelines came immediately after the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva urged countries to look into the digital future and adopt public digital platforms to connect payment systems. She emphasised that even though the risk of fragmentation exists, it is worth exploring the idea of a platform that connects diverse forms of money for different categories of people in all countries.

With a gradual trend of corporations keeping cryptocurrencies as assets, even declaring the same on their balance sheets, it is clear that the mindset is tilting towards wider acceptance, despite sanctions to discourage full adoption. H. Pierson Associates commends SEC for its new guidelines that will strike the balance between regulatory standards and cryptocurrency operations in Nigeria. It is recommended that conventional financial institutions acquire the requisite knowledge to fully harness the benefit and opportunities of digital assets. This recommendation is imperative because, with a crypto-vibrant youthful population such as ours, liquid currency advocates can only gain fewer counterparts.


Dr. Awele Victoria Ohaegbu is a consultant with H. Pierson Associates Limited.


“The Covid-19 pandemic has triggered a change in the skills in demand for board members, a new study has found. According to the Director Sentiment Monitor research published by the Institute of Directors (IoD) in Ireland, almost a third of business leaders say the pandemic has altered required skillsets and expertise for their board. Among the skills expected to be in demand in the coming two years are environmental, social and governance (ESG), innovation, cyber security and digital expertise.

“The pandemic has impacted just about every business in Ireland – as it has the rest of society – and this movement in relation to requisite board members’ expertise and experience reflects this. So, while a majority (65 per cent) of our survey respondents says the requisite skills and experience on their primary board have not changed during the Covid-19 pandemic, a significant one third of the business leaders say they have changed,” said Maura Quinn, chief executive of the Institute of Directors in Ireland.


“The shift certainly reflects a post-Covid heightened awareness of environmental, social and governance issues, but also sees innovation, cyber security and digital expertise as enhancing rather than replacing more ‘traditional’ competencies such as strategy, corporate governance and risk management.”

The majority which was 81% felt their boards had the range of skills and experience necessary to drive the business and mitigate significant risks.

Strategy, corporate governance, sales, marketing and business development remained the most common skills board members believed they brought, with innovation, cyber security and data protection among the less common skills.

However, ESG and innovation were among the top three skills that respondents said would be the most desired and needed over the next two years. Cyber security and digital skills rounded out the top five, with marketing, sales and business development skills dropping to sixth place. Business continuity planning also fell down the list of in-demand skills.

It is worth noting, too, that the crucial importance of strong business continuity planning expertise also came to the fore during the pandemic, and it served those organisations well that incorporated it into their boards’ strategic planning and risk management functions.”

Retrieved from https://www.irishtimes.com/business/companies/pandemic-triggers-change-in-in-demand-skills-for-board-members-1.4681090

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