The secret of cultural change
If you are planning transformation or growth in your organisation, your changes will invariably impact the business culture. Today, I will share with you a few important things about culture that you should consider when planning the change programme:
- If you don’t drive your culture it will develop itself anyway and you and your Leadership Team will remain in the passenger seat. Culture is more powerful than Strategy and if you leave culture to chance your strategy may well fail.
- Culture change requires visible and inspiring leadership. Is your team up to the challenge?
- Scrutinise your culture before you embark on transformation so that you know just what is required to engage employee’s hearts and minds while you are driving through complex business change.
- When you set your new strategy, consider how the business culture will need to evolve and determine where the gaps are. Embedded culture is tricky to change and cannot be shifted over night. Consider what factors can help you to cultivate your desired business DNA – the DNA that will ensure your new strategy works.
- You will need a collective mission and purpose that employees can buy into. Make sure that your messages are authentic, your vision is transparent and that you believe in the proposed changes. Put yourselves in the shoes of your employees and consider what their fears may be around the planned changes – address those fears. Then, paint a picture of the new world and the benefit to your staff and ask them to join you in achieving this mission.
- Working for a company and believing in what it stands for, your product or service can evoke great pride from your people. Make it clear in your actions, your values and your behaviours what is important in your business. Integrity is the key behavior to exhibit when leading change. If employees trust you to deliver on your promises they will support your vision.
- While we would all like to engage every single member of the team to support the proposed changes – it’s not always like that. Listen to their concerns, do your utmost to communicate the reasons for the change, address their questions and highlight the benefits – however there are times when certain employees will not accept change. You will have to live with that. Treat those people with utmost respect but don’t let them derail the achievement of a strategy and culture that will drive organisational success for the majority.
Finally, heed the words of Socrates ‘The secret of change is to focus your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.’ He has a point you know.
Ruth Gawthorpe is the owner of The Change Directors. We are not run of the mill consultants because we rollup our sleeves and help you to drive transformation and growth through your people. Call her now on 07976 509 551 for a chat about the changes you are proposing.