Cultural Change is most effective when organizations understand their current and desired culture states. Management by objectives and benchmark measurements are common features of successful cultural change programs.
One way that you can achieve the desired state is with an in depth understanding of the culture with two steps in the life cycle of a ‘top-down’ cultural change initiative. It starts with a definition of theculture you are trying to build. The culture audit is repeated across the change states of Awareness, Interest, Knowledge, Action and Reinforcement.
The importance of follow up in organizational culture and strategy
Most change initiatives fail. In fact over 90% meet with very limited or no success. The most important feature of successful cultural change is the a commitment to continuous follow-up and visible sponsorship by senior leadership.
It is critical to engage employees, to make them feel both empowered and motivated to drive real and tangible change. A key measure of success in a culture change program is the willingness to change.A cultural audit can influence the change process – ‘if you measure it, you change it’. The most important measure of change is customer feedback on the service provided – this provides a significant benchmark and motivation for change across all levels of management and staff.
Changing people in influential positions can have an effect on the culture – but their personalities and approach need to be ‘different’ to the existing culture. They also need to be encouraged in bringing a fresh approach, or else it might be their behaviour that changes (by conforming) rather than the culture.
The behaviours and attitudes in the department often reflect those exhibited in the management team – undertake some management team building and it will have a knock-on effect throughout the whole organization.
A well-designed organizational change can also change culture however, just restructuring the organization may not yield the desired results.
A dual approach – ‘bottom up’ and ‘top down’ program is more pragmatic – to change the diverse parts of the organization. The approach connects with all the touch points that can influence change and spread the motivation out from there.
A focused mission, vision and set of objectives will facilitate change. Intregration of the three parts will yield the best results. It has to inspire people and make them feel good about coming to work.
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