Sunday, May 6, 2018

How Do You Change An Organizational Culture?

Before a leader can comprehend why things operate the way they do in any organization, they need to understand that organizational wisdom comes not from management or operational experience, but rather from an understanding of the culture, values, and employee motivations in the organization.

Organizational change must first happen in the minds of the leaders and managers of the organization. Although the best ideas for change don't always come from the top down, the commitment to change does. Today, organizations need supervisors, managers, and leaders at every level who can implement, manage, and drive change.

If you want to drive change, you need to communicate the coming of change. Talking about change helps to implement change. To move forward, management needs to communicate the value and advantage of change. When people don't have a voice in the change process, they will resist. They will not trust management, they will feel fearful, isolated, if they believe that their voice doesn't count. 

When evaluating culture, don't just focus on repeated behavior or habits and deemphasize what people think, feel, and believe. The people are a big part of the evolution of the organization that shaped the culture. Cultures provide not only a shared view of "what is" but also of "why it is." It over simplifies organizational culture to assume there is only one culture. Make sure that you do not ignore the sub-cultures in the organization.

Organizational cultures are complex. They move and adapt to reality. They shift, planned or unplanned, in response to internal and external changes. When a leader has a better understanding of the Whys of organizational interaction, they can then paint a clearer picture of what they can, should, could, and cannot do. That understanding is what helps shape employee, management, and organizational behavior.

Climb to the top of the highest mountain of your imagination, and in every direction the scene is one of innovation and success. Look where you will, each scene is more successful than the one before. The mind is full of thousands of potential mountains of achievement, innovation, and leadership success.