Why would we change our culture?
There are many reasons to call for a culture change within an organisation: a take-over, a merger, a recession, a more successful competitor, the market’s/consumers’ requirements or anything that makes the current culture in an organisation unsustainable.
For people to consider culture change, usually a significant event must occur; an event that shakes their world such as near bankruptcy, a significant loss of sales or continually losing their best members of staff.
Culture change is required, if an organisation needs to adapt to succeed and sometimes to survive. The more flexible an organisation and their staff are, the easier and smoother a culture change will be.
Culture change is like evolution: those creatures, who adjust to an ever changing world quickly, will survive, develop and thrive. Those, who don’t have flexibility to change and adapt, will become extinct. Now, in the wild, this isn’t always (or ever?) a conscious decision. Fortunately, us humans CAN change, if we WANT to!
Things to consider
Changing your organisational culture is probably one of the most challenging tasks you will ever take on. The culture was formed over years of interaction between the staff and has formed that way for a reason. Perhaps the current culture matches the style and comfort zone of the company founder/chief executive or similar leading figure. Culture frequently echoes the prevailing management style. Often people hire people just like themselves, so the established culture is quickly reinforced by new recruits.
We frequently find certain procedures or approaches are followed, because “that’s just how we’ve always done it.” Sticking to existing rules can give us comfort and it’s easy. However, it does not make us a cutting edge, leading organisation.
“If you always do, what you have always done, you always get, what you have always got.”
If you are happy with what you have, don’t embark on changing and developing your culture.
If you are not happy with what you have, it’s time for a change!
How To Approach Culture Change
Culture change can only be successful when you have a clear understanding of the culture you currently have. You will need to define the differences between the current culture and the culture you are trying to build.
Before making any changes, plan where you want the organisation to go. This includes the mission, the vision and the values, which provide a framework for painting a picture of the desired future.
Culture change requires understanding and commitment. Not just yours, but that of the entire team/all staff. To ensure the change is real and lasting you need to plan your Team Motivation, Team Communication and plan Team Events to embed the Learning Outcomes, which in this case is the Culture Change.
I applaud the decision-makers that opted for this course over the well-trodden management development stuff peddled by the majority of “specialist training providers”. I am more than happy to park the theory and get on with “doing the doing”.