Project Management

Developing a CRM Culture

Tom Keenze

Much has been written in recent years about culture in organizations. Just so we are all on the same page, let’s begin this discussion about developing a CRM culture with a definition. The best definition I’ve seen is, "the moral, social and behavioral norms of an organization based on the beliefs, attitudes and priorities of its members."

The culture of most organizations has not been created, but rather has evolved over time, and is typically based on the values of the top management or the founders. A couple of exceptions that usually come to mind in a discussion about this subject are Southwest Airlines and Hewlett-Packard.

Southwest is the only major airline in the United States with a strong record of profitability. It also has a very good reputation as an employer. Much has been written about Southwest CEO Herb Kelleher’s ideas about the culture of the airline. He says the company is zealous about hiring people with positive attitudes who can lend themselves to causes. He hires people who have a good sense of humor and are interested in performing as a team. Kelleher also believes it is important for the company’s leaders to spend a lot of time with employees and to communicate with them in a variety of ways.

Mr. Kelleher believes that a large part of communications is attitude—your appearance and the way you act is a …

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