Weber Shandwick and United Minds Introduce Cultural Vigilance Suite of Services to Help Boards and CEOs Assess Culture and Mitigate Risk
New Culture Risk Check Tool Helps Companies Identify Cultural Vulnerabilities –
Research Finds That 30 Percent of U.S. Employees Say Their Companies are at Risk for a Cultural Crisis in the Next Two Years
Weber Shandwick and United Minds, the firm’s management consultancy specializing in transformation, announced a suite of new and expanded offerings designed to help companies assess cultural risk within their organizations and put into action consistent, proactive cultural vigilance – the practice of monitoring culture, preparing for cultural crisis and actively changing culture for the better. In addition to expanded crisis preparedness and culture change solutions, Cultural Vigilance includes the Culture Risk Check, a new auditing tool which assesses organizations against six key indicators predictive of cultural risk. Results help organizations predict crises they are at risk for, enabling them to mitigate issues and protect their brands, reputations and, most importantly, their people.
Currently, Weber Shandwick is a leading global communications network that delivers next-generation solutions to brands, businesses and organizations in major markets around the world. Led by world-class strategic and creative thinkers and activators, we have won some of the most prestigious awards in the industry.
“Our clients face a variety of risks in today’s complex landscape, especially in an era where employees are among any organization’s most important – and vocal – stakeholders. Building on our long record of partnering with clients to prepare for and manage crises, we have strengthened our offering to bring tools that address culture and crisis together, as they are often inextricably linked,” said Peter Duda, executive vice president and co-lead, global crisis communications and issues management, Weber Shandwick.
Peter added, “Response is a necessity in times of crisis, but history and experience have taught every business sector that issues preparedness and cultural strength are key to preventing crisis in the first place – which is why this offering is a vital arsenal for our clients.”
“We’re in an era of intense transparency and corporate scrutiny, when any cultural issue can escalate quickly. It’s not enough for companies to go into action when crisis hits – organizations today need to shift from reactive reputation repair to proactive cultural auditing and constant preparedness, while ensuring they are fostering cultures that are in line with their stated values,” said Sarah Clayton, executive vice president, United Minds. “We are helping companies build and maintain cultures that not only embody their stated values and ways of working, but are built to withstand our current, volatile business environment.”
The six indicators in the Culture Risk Check were derived from research the firm conducted, in partnership with KRC Research, with 1,000 full-time employees in U.S. companies (500 full-time employees or more) that tracked conditions most associated with cultural crises. In the survey, 22% of respondents reported at least one cultural crisis in their organization in the last two years, with 30% saying their company is at risk for a culture-related crisis in the next two years.
When combined with the firm’s services in culture change and crisis preparedness, the Culture Risk Check joins a suite of offerings that help companies build cultures that attract the best talent, align with company values and guard against crises:
The Culture Risk Check, grounded in the firm’s years of experience on the front lines of corporate crises and its new research, assesses the six indicators most predictive of cultural risk, including inadequate investment in employees; lack of accountability; lack of diversity, equity, and inclusion; poor behavior at the top; high-pressure environments and unclear ethical standards. The resulting scorecard assigns severity status to each indicator and helps Boards and CEOs identify hotspots that need to be addressed before crisis strikes. In M&A situations, the tool helps acquiring companies understand the cultural issues they’re taking on and helps surface cultural compatibilities and incompatibilities between the two companies.
This solution includes planning and training services to ensure the right processes, tools and capabilities are in place to manage through known cultural issues. Preparation often includes crisis simulation workshops powered by Weber Shandwick’s award-winning, interactive simulator, Firebell – built to stress-test teams and equip them for real-time response.
Culture is one of the most important assets for an organization – and a strong, united culture attracts the best talent and builds an organization positioned to deliver business results. CultureShift, the firm’s culture change methodology, is grounded in behavioral science and through communications, training and incentive systems, aids organizations in nurturing the specific attitudes, beliefs and actions that not only support business strategy but guard against risk.
United Minds is a management consultancy that specializes in transformation. Leveraging a deep bench of specialists, the company helps organizations deliver positive, lasting change by combining data-fueled strategy and creative communications solutions, engaging stakeholders in every part of the process. United Minds is part of Weber Shandwick, one of the world’s leading communications and marketing solutions firms.