There are several approaches to changing cultural norms in an organization, however, the actual transformation comes from its people doing something unique, adopting new behaviors, changing the way they solve problems, and the way they communicate and interact with each other.
To change something, we must understand the way it’s created, formed and influenced. Here are three powerful drivers of culture: behaviors, techniques, and symbols.
A while ago, I was counseling a senior executive of a government bureau who was two years into shaping his agency to be more customer and results-centered. He rebuilt his 200-person group, propelled key actions, coached his staff on changing mindsets, and settled on some challenging personnel decisions. At about the same time these efforts were beginning to reveal positive outcomes, a new governor was named. His main goal? To shape my client’s agency to be more customer- and results-centered! What could this senior leader say? “That’s what we’re already doing” would have appeared defensive and resistant. He basically sat passively as his new manager laid out plans for stirring things up.
Change management can be tedious and challenging, but it is a well-trodden path. Many analysts have created useful models to manage change in different respects; this article touches upon Kurt Lewin’s famous change model and presents insights about actionable changes.
The interest in culture continues to grow but this growth comes with a proliferation of over-simplified and incorrect information about culture and culture change. CultureUniversity.com was launched in 2014 to cut through this misinformation and it’s grown to be a great resource for leaders and change agents (this is post #191).
Five new posts garnered the highest traffic in 2017 and my personal top insight from each post is captured in the list below.
Culture is at the heart and soul of every organization across the globe, and Human Synergistics’ 3rd Annual Ultimate Culture Conference examined this topic with the theme of Leadership and Culture—It’s a Two-Way Street. There were many executable learnings that came out of the event and here are six items that organizations can act upon to move their culture to a Constructive style—along with a seventh, personal favorite for each of us to remember.