One of the most complex tasks of any leader is to change its organization’s culture. This is solely because organization culture involves setting up goals, roles, processes, beliefs, communication flow, attitude and assumptions. These elements fit together as a shared system to prevent any attempt to change. Therefore, a change in single element only, like introducing new teams or processes, may not suffice for organizational culture change.
Changing a culture is a herculean task and thereby using all organizational tools for changing mindset is required. Tools like leadership which includes visioning makes foundation for management tools which include role definition, setting up KRAs, measurement and control systems, and use of power tools like reward and punishment.
Below are some examples of frequent mistakes made while changing the culture of an organization:
- Starting the change with vision for the organization but not following it up with the management tools that will bring about those behavioral changes required
- Starting the change with power tools even though the vision is not clear
- Overusing power tools and underusing leadership tools
Following are some Dos and Don’ts to keep in mind while making changes to your organization’s culture:
- Do come with a clear vision for your company. It should state where you want your company to go and publicize that vision swiftly and authoritatively with help of your leadership tools like communicating vision with the help of storytelling technique
- Do identify your stakeholders of the new vision and drive your company to be repeatedly responsive to the stakeholder in terms of your new vision
- Do define roles and responsibilities of managers as drivers of self-organizing teams and utilize full capabilities of your employees
- Do have new systems and process that supports and reinforce your new vision. If you don’t have it already, develop it quickly
- Do define and communicate consistently the values attached to your new vision
- Do have a communication plan which not only have conversations and storytelling vertically but also horizontally
- Don’t start the change without proper planning. We suggest having new vision and its supporting systems and processes first and then start reorganizing
- Don’t go all out to hire a new team of top managers. We suggest working with the existing employees and managers and see if you can promote them as they are the ones who are all on-board with your systems and processes and, a brownie point, they share your vision.
Therefore, it is not difficult to understand that a culture change is a transformational change for the organization which takes a radical and fundamental shift in the way the entire organization operates. It is a strategic intervention which helps a lot where it requires rapid changes like increased competition, expansion of markets, mergers and/or acquisitions, change in government policies. Hence it is suggested to be mindful of the above do’s and don’ts while implementing cultural changes.
Strengthscape comes with rich experience in culture transformation and you can reach out us