Transforming the business is also a matter of culture

On the occasion of the conference “Objective better living in business” organized by the Institute MVE November 21 at the House of Polytechnic in Paris, Edenred organized a workshop on the theme “Corporate culture and change management: the heart of “Reactor transformation” “. Return on the intervention of Gilles Verrier, President of HR Identity and author of “Should we release the company?”.

” There is no choice: if the business does not change, it dies “. Gilles Verrier cannot be more clear: the transformation of the company is inevitable because it responds to a triple revolution in its environment:

  • business revolution, with the transition from an economic model based on mass production to a tense competitive universe that calls for more agility and responsiveness;
  • a revolution in the aspirations of employees, with the end of the era of absolute respect for authority and work as a duty, and the emergence of fulfillment at work and the quest for meaning;
  • the information revolution, accessible to all, which gives power to the one who is able to select and disseminate the right information.

A triple revolution that, according to Gilles Verrier, translates into HR language terms such as agility, ability to adapt to the customer, accountability, trust.

First, transform the content of the work

What is the first transformation to be carried out? Gilles Verrier responds without hesitation: ” The content of the work! Formerly, the important thing was the quality of the execution of a task, today it is necessary to be able to leave the frame, not to apply the rule when the situation requires it “.

The author then tells a role play of 300 managers of a bank. ” In your absence, and unable to reach you, a collaborator decides to give a loan to the best client of the agency who threatens to leave the establishment. What’s your reaction ? “. Results: 100 managers congratulate him for having taken this initiative: “they are in the new world”, comments Gilles Verrier; 100 punish him for leaving the frame, “they are in the old world”. 100 try to reconcile the two, “they are in hypocrisy”.

Harmonize structure and culture

Often, the company chooses the facility: the change of organization. Transformation involves walking on both legs: structure (organization) and behavior (culture).
An example: the Yellow Pages, which went from a business model in which the regional press constituted the bulk of its competitors, to the world of the Internet where the company is facing Google. From a time when advertising contracts were negotiated over six months to today, where everything is played in two hours. The question of the speed of the answer became central, which meant that Pages Jaunes rethought both its organization and its culture.

How to characterize one’s culture with regard to its stakes? What are the new temporalities? What are the impacts on trades? What is the history of the company? How to define one’s relationship with another? So many questions to ask. ” Changing culture is an in-depth job “, insists Gilles Verrier.

As for the conditions for success, Gilles Verrier reveals three essential ones:

  1. to associate the collaborators with the cultural transformation and not to impose on them;
  2. explain why by letting them find how ;
  3. and apply to oneself the changes in behavior expected of others.

Three examples of cultural change

During his presentation, Gilles Verrier mentioned three examples of cultural change he has led.

  • An agro-food site near Nantes is anchored in a culture of conflict. The challenge is to transform the mental representation of employees based on a vision of two actors (management, employees) with conflicting interests. How? By introducing a third actor: the client. Customers visit the company to explain the issues to employees. After six months, half of the employees sign a petition to review the agreement on working time and put the customer at the center of concerns. Since then, the site has not experienced any local conflict.
  • The results of the Italian subsidiary of a large retail group are down. The level of employee engagement is very low, they focus only on the prescribed tasks and have no sense of customer relationship. For three months, the company will ask each employee to find an idea to improve the relationship with the customer and share it on a collaborative platform. After a few weeks, 5,000 ideas are already registered.
  • A large bank raises the question of the culture of performance. It works on the behaviors of managers by a system of simulation to maintain the same level of benevolence and strengthen the requirement of managers. In the key, an improvement of the economic results.


Offer business gifts, is it still a pleasure?

Every year, these are the same questions in the run-up to the end of the year holidays: to whom should we offer corporate gifts?

All professions do not have the same customs when it comes to corporate gifts. In a general way, this tradition tends to be more limited budgetary than the time of our fathers. Corporate gifts today are part of a strictly regulated framework to prevent the risk of corruption, especially when they are addressed to a public authority. There are two types: business gifts for customers and gifts for employees.

Deductible expenses

The former can be considered as deductible expenses of the profit, with a triple condition: they must be done in the interest of the company, without compensation, and the cause must be lawful. Above 3,000 euros per year, they must be entered in the special statement of overheads. In addition, the tax administration may consider that their amount is too important, or that they do not serve the interest of the company, and reintegrate them in the income statement … Note that VAT is only deductible for values below 65 euros TTC.

Benefits in kind

Gifts to employees are normally regarded as benefits in kind and therefore subject to social security contributions, with the exception of certain professions such as sales forces. When their value is low (no more than 5% of the monthly social security ceiling), and when they are offered for a specific occasion (Christmas, marriage, etc.), they are exempt from income tax. We can not avoid mentioning the value of gift vouchers, which leave beneficiaries with the final choice while optimizing the tax and social treatment of the bonus.

Attention as much as a gift

So much for the legal framework that should not spoil the pleasure of offering. Because to have a real range, the gift must translate a real gesture, not just a vague custom. It is better to limit the number of recipients than to distribute a totally impersonal gift. In this respect, the word that accompanies the present is at least as important as the latter.

Also avoid, especially with customers, an excess of generosity that can become suspicious. Conversely, it is better not to be stingy with a boilerplate or visibly very cheap.

Get out of the frame

The gift is also out of the strict framework of a business or professional life. Fantasy is not forbidden: so a consulting company used to send a team of masseur-relaxologists to its customers during the truce confectioners. And another invited them to a human foosball party!

Nor is it forbidden to think of the spouse of the lucky recipient. A meal, a weekend, an invitation …, the gift for two is often fly.

Why not involve employees in thinking?

Your ideal business: all the keys to choose it without error

The first steps towards self-employment are the most complicated of all. Every entrepreneur in diapers has a lot of ideas and projects going around in his head but he is not able to put order and decide on one. Is there any way to find out which business is best for each person? Today we will review what are the factors to take into account so that you can know which is your ideal business.

Your ideal business: keys to choose it

  1. Are you passionate?

It is essential that you are passionate about the business idea that you want to put into practice. The journey of the entrepreneur to achieve the first results is quite hard. If you do not have a passion for what you do, it will be more difficult for you to overcome the obstacles and persist until you achieve success.

  1. What knowledge do you have?

You should not invest time or money in a business that you do not fully understand. The greater your knowledge of the sector, the competition or the product, the greater your chances of getting an advantage over the rest.

  1. Are you an expert?

If you accompany your knowledge of a wide professional experience in that market, everything will be much easier for you. If you already know how to get involved in the intricacies of the sector or if you are an expert in dealing with your potential clients, you have a lot of advantages compared to other entrepreneurs who do not enjoy that position.

  1. Are there barriers to entry?

Entry barriers are factors that hinder access to a certain market. For example, if to set up the business you need to make a large financial outlay that puts you at the height of your competition, that would be the entry barrier that you would have to overcome. Are you in a position to overcome it?

  1. Do you have something different to contribute?

If your market niche competes and you do the same as everyone else, you will surely not get good results. To a large extent, your success or failure will depend on your ability to appear different. For this reason, it is essential that you answer this question with sincerity: do you have something different to contribute to your customers?

  1. What are you willing to risk?

Entrepreneurship involves risk. You must be clear to what extent you are willing to take risks. Time and money are the two most repeated risks: How long are you willing to “lose” until you get the first benefits? How much money can you lose if you do not succeed? Depending on what the answers are, you can opt for some business ideas and discard others.

  1. What kind of reward do you expect?

Not all entrepreneurs seek the same reward for their businesses. Some seek to obtain a more or less stable salary each month with a reasonable work schedule. Others seek the highest possible income and to get it they are willing to invest all the hours they need. The expected reward also determines what your ideal business may be.

Answering these seven questions the long list of business ideas you have in your head will be greatly reduced. In principle, the choice of your ideal business should be much easier.