Now that your awareness has been expanded by the first 3 Intersol blogs on thinking strategically, managing change to reduce resistance and build commitment and finding the right facilitator, we will take advantage of this expanded consciousness to address the issue of cultural transformation.
You might be asking yourself “Why should I investing in corporate culture?” The answer: look at Google, Ikea, Starbucks, and Amazon, a few of the most successful corporations in America. Each one of these firms is at least 1026% more profitable for investors over a 10 year period. How do they do it? They invest in their culture with ‘heart’ and consider it to be one of the most valuable corporate assets.
Culture in this case is defined by:
- how they do things,
- the management style,
- the way decisions are made.
The organizational culture you create will enable you to attract, retrain and draw out the best talent in your people. In recent studies, it’s also the number one reason why nine out of ten strategic initiatives fail. This confirms the saying “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”.
Unless you focus consciously on changing the ways people behave and interact with each other, how can you expect different results? We all know Einstein’s theory of insanity, expecting different results when you continue to do the same things over and over. Well here’s mine for cultural insanity. Expecting your employees to embrace new work habits and higher levels of collaboration between teams, while maintaining the same management style, organizational values and behaviours.
All power and effectiveness comes from knowing how
and acting appropriately.
Tao Te Ching of Leadership
To know the how, cultural transformation tools provide concrete data which enable leadership teams and staff to have in-depth, facilitated conversations. Best practices for these conversations are highly inclusive, engaging employees to discuss workplace issues and exploring how they can function more productively. This is the basis of investing in cultural transformation that is collaborative, meaningful, and effective.
Corporate culture used to be intangible. Not any longer. The tools systemically and tangibly identify the values and behaviours that engage and energize employees. They also identify values and behaviours that are causing stress, frustration, and retention issues which diminish your organization’s productivity.
As a leader, your role is critical in the change process. It takes courage to look into the things you excel at and those you do not excel at. Added to this challenge is the need for personal alignment and transformation. Whatever new organizational values and behaviours your organization selects going forward you must be prepared to model and demonstrate. Organizational transformation begins with the personal transformation of the leaders. Organizations don’t transform. People do.
Some of the most valuable assets of a leader are being trustworthy and having compassion. Taking the time to ask questions and listen to staff shows you care, creates more awareness of the barriers to success, and builds a sense of connectedness with staff. It’s often the heart to heart opportunities to communicate that have the most profound effect in building a strong sense of commitment to each other that will carry you through the hard times.
Trust in the foundation for open, honest discussions. When your perception is expanded, additional opportunities and ideas will surface. With good planning and teamwork the organization is empowered to work together cohesively towards common goals. These are all necessary components for successful implementation of strategy and the benefits of investing in corporate culture.
To learn how your management team can benefit from investing in its corporate culture, feel free to contact me.
Joanna Barclay, CTC, CTPF, CPSF
Organization Development Consultant, Facilitator, Trainer
Transforming leaders and teams resulting in
values-based, high-performing workplace cultures.
In our next blog Frank Van Gool will look take a tongue in cheek look at ‘Is MY team dysfunctional?’