“There are sub-cultures within the culture,” said Kimberly Davis at Fast Company‘s recent Most Creative People in Business event. “[That’s] where you can actually have pockets of innovation.”
Davis, president of the JP Morgan Chase Foundation and #34 on our list, was discussing how to influence company culture even when the ship becomes too big to steer. And she knows from experience. Working at one of the world’s oldest and largest financial institutions, Davis has endured eight mergers in just 19 years. “I’m a merger specialist,” she joked.
In order to navigate such a behemoth, Davis suggests focusing on the subsets of company culture that are open to change. “Identify the leaders that are willing to take risks, and ally yourself with those leaders,” she said. “You may not change the entire culture, but there are places within the organization that just have a bias for innovation.”
Rather than taking off more than you can chew, David believes in changing company culture “one bite at a time.”
You can see part of Davis’s talk below, and watch more videos from the event here.