Culture Change

If you want to change a culture, change behaviours first: the culture will follow.

While the first step must be to create a compelling vision of the future and provide an overwhelming rationale for the intended change, to succeed leaders must change both their own behaviours and those of others.

In their own behaviours, leaders of cultural change must create a sense of urgency, which must be maintained until the new culture is fully formed and self-sustaining. To retain their ‘change capital’, they must model behaviours to preserve trust: always do what you say you are going to do. As major problems inevitably arise, they should look to the organisation’s values for guidance.

In changing the behaviours of others, they must support the introduction of new processes and tools with appropriate skills training, incorporating activities that build commitment and engagement. Performance management and reward and remuneration systems and policies must also be re-aligned to encourage the new behaviours that you want people to show.

In implementing cultural change, ensure that your change agenda is owned by the CEO and senior management and develop a community of agile, flexible leaders at all levels within the organisation: create role models in senior management, but also ensure you engage first-line managers as change agents. And build resilience to face inevitable stresses and strains by providing your senior leadership team with group coaching.

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