I have to get The Soul in the Computer: The Story of a Corporate Revolutionary. Read the summary at Strategy+Business – it’s a strong overview of how Barbara Waugh initiated change throughout her career at HP (18 years and counting). For me, the key graph from the S+B article is:
The impetus for organizational change in most companies is a desire to improve performance, but change is also geared toward improving a companys reputation. Customers, regulators, neighbors, and prospective employees judge a company not by performance metrics or by the share price alone, but by the quality of the companys products, the character of its community presence, the attractiveness of its jobs, and its record on such issues as pollution, sweatshop labor, and diversity in the work force. If outsiders judgments matter at your company, then people like Barbara Waugh are exceptionally important, because the climate they create, far below the level of executive command, has a great deal of influence on a companys ability to improve in these arenas.