Transforming Business Culture
- on Jan 11, 2024
Every organisation possesses a distinct culture that can emerge organically as the business expands or be intentionally nurtured through a deliberate approach. When new employees join the company, they both conform to and shape the existing culture. To maintain a positive trajectory for your company’s culture or to undergo a substantial transformation to align with industry developments, it is essential to devise a well-thought-out strategy and an actionable plan. To successfully implement a culture change in your company, you might consider reaching out to reputable business change consultants in your area.
To initiate a shift in a company’s culture, it is crucial to establish the desired culture according to the leadership’s vision. Once this is determined, teams consisting of employees from various departments and at different levels should be formed to implement the necessary changes. Reinforcing the change can be achieved through a system that includes rewards for meeting the new expectations, in addition to the active involvement of the leadership, ultimately highlighting the company’s new priorities.
Employees must understand the significance of change in order to fully embrace it. Whether it is driven by security concerns, technological advancements, market forces, or competition, employees should be aware of the reasons for a cultural transformation. Effective communication is crucial at every level to ensure that the desired outcomes and proposed solutions are comprehensible to every member of the workforce, regardless of their level of literacy. As stated by Sam Miller, the Development Manager at the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP), the communication should be crafted in a way that even the least literate employee can comprehend.
Humans have a tendency to adopt the prevailing behaviour in their social environment. However, if you want to bring about a transformation, it may be necessary to create a noteworthy occurrence that symbolises the change you are striving to introduce. Consequently, news about this event will spread organically through word of mouth. Individuals will recount and pass on stories related to it. For instance, if your goal is to shift the organisational culture from being formal to being more laid-back, a strategy could involve organising multiple occasions where senior management casually engages in conversations with employees at all levels, perhaps in the lunchroom.
In order to foster change, it is essential for the executive to establish a conducive atmosphere. This entails being receptive to feedback and input from various stakeholders within the organisation. The leader’s responsibility lies in empowering employees to initiate changes, which often requires the leader to relinquish some control to others within the organisation while maintaining humility.
Transforming Culture Through Continuous Learning
According to Accenture, a renowned management consulting firm, incorporating training alone is not sufficient for companies with strong cultures to embrace change. Instead, they must identify the specific skills, attitudes, and behaviours that align with the new objectives and utilise them as a means to permeate the new culture throughout the entire organisation. To achieve this, it is essential to identify cultural leaders within each department, irrespective of their managerial roles, and leverage their influence to facilitate change within their respective areas. Alternatively, organisations can selectively redeploy a group of employees who already embody the desired culture, strategically dispersing them across the entire organisation.
Creating Effective Change
Change is not an immediate process, so it is crucial to identify the tipping point for change within your organisation. This involves redistributing resources towards areas that have an impact on change and highlighting individuals who actively drive change within the company. Encouraging collaboration and involvement from employees in addressing changes specific to their roles is essential. Taking a different perspective on the problem allows for targeted modifications that employees are more likely to support since they have been involved in the process. This concept is discussed in the book “Blue Ocean Strategy” by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne, where they illustrate how Bill Bratton, the New York Police Commissioner, and Joel Manby, an executive at Silver Dollar City theme park, gained insights by immersing themselves in their respective environments to understand the need for change. As a result, both individuals were able to implement effective programs, such as scholarships and expanded child care assistance, which positively impacted employee attendance and retention rates.