Culture change is about people - what they think, how they feel, what they do. You can restructure, rebrand, and reorganise. You can change the language of the workplace and re-arrange the furniture; but if the cultural climate of the organization does not substantially shift, then all that is left are a series of very expensive cosmetic changes, even higher levels of employee cynicism, and a greater culture-change challenge.
Most organizations committed to culture change focus on changing visible norms, customs, and behaviours within their organization, which tend to have little impact on performance. A large number of small-scale changes may not effect the necessary shifts in the organizational environment to embed true, lasting, meaningful change.
How can you make the adjustments to effect a substantial cultural step-change that provides you with the understanding to enact continued improvements in the cultural climate of your organization?
To speak of “an organisational culture” is to speak of “what has happened, what is happening, and what will happen in a particular organisation (specified by location(s) over a designated time).” This first and foremost invites:
a. Inclusivity: everyone in an organisation contributes to and is affected by the culture of an organisation, from the CEO to the janitors;
b. Transparency: this understanding of organisational culture leaves nowhere to hide – that’s the point;
c. Discernment: to be this inclusive calls for a deeper discernment of what is actually going on within an organisation;
d. Legacy: ”culture” here involves an awareness of what has happened before (our past legacies), as well as what is still to happen (our future legacies), connecting the past to the future;
e. Anticipation: this is a future-oriented notion of culture, an invitation to awareness of our own participation in the cultural future of the organisation.
Once we ally the notion of “culture” to the discernment and evaluation of the specifics of power, effect, and circumstance it becomes helpful to speak in terms of “cultural climate”, and, by extension, “culture change”.
Get in touch to talk further about principles of culture change, and the key variables that influence the ways in which attitudes, behaviours and social interactions occur within organisations.