Creating a values-based culture to enhance business performance

Edison International: Creating a values-based culture to enhance business performance


In the wake of the California energy crisis, Edison International needed to turn around its performance and restore confidence in the company’s future. Internal research identified a number of cultural issues hindering success.




  • Leadership alignment through off-site retreats.
  • Articulation of new company vision, two new company values and guiding behaviors.
  • Cross-department communications-planning sessions.
  • “Drumbeat” communications campaign – alignment with annual goals rollout, employee storytelling, “yearbook effect” visual campaign, manager “conversation starters” and interactive portal site.
  • Integration with operational priorities – Enterprise Resource Planning.
  • Peer and corporate recognition programs — Annual Chairman’s Award
  • Integration with HR Processes – new employee orientation, performance management, culture – workshops for leaders.
  • External reinforcement through corporate advertising campaign.


  • Employee engagement results showed marked improvements:
  • 86 percent agreed that how they act is just as important as what they accomplish.
  • 81 percent felt that their work contributes to the company’s vision.
  • 80 percent believed that living the company’s values is as important as achieving its business goals.



Recognition is not just the responsibility of leaders: As part of the launch of a new interactive intranet site, we also introduced values-themed e-cards for employees to recognize peers who model Edison’s values and guiding behaviors.



Shining a light on values-based performance: To reinforce specific behaviors and provide employees with clear role models, Edison introduced the Chairman’s Award. This company-wide recognition program required significant coordination across multiple business units, geographies and organizational structures. The Award and supporting publicity served as a culmination of the culture communication campaign’s first-year efforts by providing clear and compelling examples of the power of values-driven performance.

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