Spring, November 2014

Build a culture, not a company

When The Faculty’s Commercial Director, Andrew Hooke, describes the consulting style of the firm, he often says The Faculty helps clients “to build a culture, not a company.”

No matter which position you sit in around the Boardroom table, one of your primary accountabilities is to nurture a resilient company, and two things are critical to this – your cost base and your culture. We call this building a Cost Conscious Culture. 

Culture underpins your organisation’s corporate values and business strategy - and therefore your success. But what exactly does a Cost Conscious Culture look like? And how do you know you’ve achieved it? The Faculty Quarterly sat down with four of our experts to help explain.

Andrew Cordner, Managing Director

“Creating a Cost Conscious Culture means being aware of your entire value proposition. It means stepping aside from a ‘point in time’ procedure or a one off cost cutting exercise and working to protect and generate value on an ongoing basis. Regardless of where the organisation is in its business cycle, procurement should constantly be playing a role.

“Procurement can drive long term productivity, value and efficiency, and that shouldn’t sit just in the procurement team, but also across the wider business. You know you’ve achieved a Cost Conscious Culture when the entire business is thinking about cost and value, every day.

“Of course cost can be about focusing on price, but really it also needs to be about innovation, cost management and efficiencies.”

Robert Pease, Commercial Director

“Anyone can cut costs – that’s the easy part. The difficult part is ensuring that the value you add to your end customer isn’t lost in the process. That’s why having a Cost Conscious Culture is important.

“It’s about having a company mindset that considers the benefits and implications of cost-cutting and weighs up the risks too. If reducing your cost base means you will lose a key customer, is it the right decision for the bottom line? That mindset needs to be ingrained into the organisation as a whole, not just its leaders.”

Gordon Donovan, Principal Consultant

“In my opinion the word ‘cost’ could easily be replaced with the word ‘value’. A Cost Conscious Culture really comes down to the way everyone in an organisation behaves and works together to create value for the business. It’s not just about price.  

“It’s imperative to equip your people with the right blend of technical and commercial leadership skills to manage the complex cost decisions necessary to deliver your vision.”

Andrew Hooke, Commercial Director

“To me cost-consciousness means creating an enduring corporate culture focused on strong and sustainable cost discipline. Of course this also requires universal and tireless efforts to engage and motivate the entire organisation to deliver on that vision.

“Simply, it’s about being commercially minded – having a sensible lens that looks at cost in context with market drivers and an understanding that meaningful changes to your business’ financial performance require more than a fine tuning of your cost base.

“A Cost Conscious Culture is about helping everyone from the C-Level to those in the field understand how they can optimise their cost base and empower them to take action.”