As a leader, you may know that you want to make a change in the culture of your team, department or organization. But what should you do? Here are six steps to help you create a culture that is a strategic asset.
Values are the foundation of organizational culture. Any culture change must being with clarity about what leaders in the organization value and how those values will drive success. Help leaders identify their personal values and create connections between their personal values and the organization’s values.
Reinforce the vision
Vision should answer the question “where are we going”. Successful culture change does not require a new vision. What is required is to ensure that the vision paints an inspiring picture of the future that draws on the values embraced by leaders in the organization. Make sure everyone in the organization is clear on the vision and values – and how those elements lead to the success of the organization as a whole.
Empower behaviors aligned to values and vision
Changing behaviors, particularly leader behaviors, is the key driver achieving a culture change. Behaviors create experiences for the people in organizations. Those experiences are the day-to-day reality of the culture. Defining the behaviors is critical. Even more critical is removing the obstacles to aligned behavior.
Align conversations up and down the organization
Get people talking! Leaders should be discussing values, vision and behavior – and their link to organizational success. Communication is key and leader driven communication is critical. These conversations should be woven through team organizational meetings, team meetings, one to one performance conversations. These themes can also be repeated in internal communication.
Target effort on high impact areas
Weave the values based culture into high impact organizational structures. This may be your compensation plan, behavioral competency model, performance management process, and / or interviewing process. Think about training for your managers in the specifics how to lead in a values based culture.
Emphasize success, reward change
Publicize your success. Make sure you communicate major “wins” back to the organization. This builds momentum and converts the doubters. Also, ensure that recognition is aligned to your values. Think about formal programs as well as individual recognition.
©2012 Melissa Lanier – All Rights Reserved
- Organizational Culture: Are You Taking It to the Next Level? (hroutsider.com)
- Culture’s Big Business Moment (fastcompany.com)
- Culture Eats Strategy For Lunch (fastcompany.com)
- Can Corporate Culture be Changed? (anamcgary.wordpress.com)