Culture change can’t be underestimated. It isn’t something that can happen overnight but is a journey, a process. The culture of an organisation can either drive competitive advantage and build success, or set your employees adrift in negativity and apathy – but if you think your culture is floundering, it can be managed and improved.
There are many thousands of metrics, articles, white papers and studies which look at what magic ingredients make one business successful where another one fails – and there are thousands of theories, solutions and ideas which cover a wealth of suggestions. But it doesn’t matter how much you invest in tools, the best marketing or the most modern of technologies – if you haven’t got the right culture within the workplace, your success will always be limited.
Simply changing the structures and control systems is never going to be enough; for truly impactful – and lasting – cultural change, strategies need to change throughout the organisation. This means encouragement, reason, routine and symbolic changes in behaviour and attitudes.
This can seem like a big undertaking, and more than a little daunting – particularly in large or long-established organisations who are accustomed to a status-quo. That’s where ASK can help – we use applied models of change to guide your leaders through a process of understanding and managing culture, enabling the required transitions throughout the organisation.
The first step of this process involves answering the following questions:
- What are you senior leaders’ core assumptions and beliefs, and how are these reflected in the broader culture?
- How formal/informal are the existing structures?
- What is most closely monitored/controlled – and why?
- What stories are told about your organisation?
- Which visual symbols may be censoring or controlling behaviour?
- How would you describe the dominant cultural assumptions?
Once the responses to these questions have been explored, we challenge your leaders to think differently about how to implement lasting, impactful change, using change management tools such as Kotter’s 8 Steps, Bridges’ Transitions and Lewin’s reframing approach – giving your leaders opportunities to identify and adapt their approach, and effectively changing the overreaching culture of their teams.