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Investing in a culture that ensures quality

An interview with Engelhardt Robbe (CQO)

Culture defines the kind of organisation we are and is an enabler to live our purpose. For Deloitte Chief Quality Officer, Engelhardt Robbe, appointed on June 1 2016, having the right culture is closely related to Deloitte’s core purpose of making an impact that matters.

“We can only deliver and realise our ambition to become the undisputed leader if we have the right cultural norms and behaviours in place” says Robbe. “People don’t want these to be pushed down onto them from the top. Instead, they’re asking for the tools for the right conversations and discussions to happen. They already really want to make a meaningful impact on their clients, colleagues and for society. It is tremendously inspiring to realise that.”

Robbe is tasked with directing Deloitte’s relentless attention on quality. He considers an outstanding performance in relation to quality and integrity, to be one of the most important of Deloitte’s strategic ambitions, and one that is inexorably linked to its culture. A firm-wide Culture Survey in 2016 found that while Deloitters feel pride in their brand and client work, and strongly support the shared values, more could be done to ensure the values are followed up in people’s day-to-day actions.

“Our ambition is to become the undisputed leader in professional services. To achieve this we need
to differentiate ourselves in terms of courage, commitment, collaboration, inclusion and acting out of a strong belief in our shared values,” says Robbe. “Like any organisation, our challenge is therefore to consistently live these values, so we’re working hard to ensure we walk the talk in every sense.”

The outcomes of the survey are being addressed at their roots, and at all levels in the organisation. Extensive internal dialogues are taking place with partners, directors and employees. Follow up actions focus on areas such as the role of leadership, translating values in concrete ways of working, improving performance management and continuous learning. At this moment you see discussions in the whole organisation around the role of culture in delivering our core purpose.

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