Lead Right for Your Company’s Type

Lead Right for Your Company’s Type

How to Connect Your Culture with Your Customer Promise

AMACOM, 2017 more...

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An oil-drilling field boss hired a sensitivity consultant to work with his crew. The consultant asked the crew members to describe their feelings for each other. They were uncomfortable and silent. This was a misapplication of sensitivity training. How oil rig workers feel about each other isn’t as relevant as how they handle the drill. Many leaders mistakenly assume that the management techniques that are good for one business are beneficial to all businesses. Implementing the wrong approaches and policies can damage your firm. Consulting psychologist and scholar William E. Schneider provides valuable information on tailoring your policy and management approach to four different types of enterprises – “customized, best-in-class, enrichment,” and “predictable and dependable.” Knowing what will work requires an astute understanding of your business. Organizational leaders can make good use of Schneider’s insights, charts, diagrams and assessment resources.  


Four Types of Enterprises

Organizations can take four general forms, but each company has its own distinctive culture, leadership style and promise to customers. Of these interdependent components, customer promise matters most. A firm’s culture and leadership depend on it. The four types of companies are:

  1. “Predictable and dependable” – These companies provide reliable products or services that fulfill basic needs. They need well-defined policies, practices and operational systems. They are capital-intensive and operate with slim margins based on economies of scale. About 60% of the 100 largest American companies fit this category. Among other features, their management approach generally includes “vertical de-integration, activity-based costing, zero-based budgeting, lean manufacturing” and “statistical process control.” These companies often have a robust leadership pipeline. Examples include Federal Express and Walmart.
  2. “Enrichment” – These organizations are values-based. They operate with honorable goals and deeply held beliefs and principles. They seek to improve customers’ lives and help...

About the Author

Consulting psychologist William E. Schneider, PhD, co-owns Corporate Development Group, a Colorado leadership and organizational development firm.

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