Crisis forces people to change and change often brings new opportunity. Any significant change is likely to be disruptive. Consequently, business process improvements are likely to be disruptive to an organization's structure and culture. Enterprises that have attempted initiate process improvements while ignoring this syllogism have invariably failed.
And you may have the ability to hire, fire, promote and demote people with relatively little effort. But changing an entrenched culture is the toughest task you will face.
To do so, you must win the hearts and minds of the people you work with, and that takes both cunning and persuasion. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne cite four hurdles that face a manager trying to institute broad change in an organization.
The first is cognitive — people must have some understanding of why the change in strategy or in culture is needed. The second is limited resources — inevitably, changing an organization will require shifting resources away from some areas and towards others.
The third hurdle is motivation — ultimately, workers have to want to make the change. And the final hurdle is institutional politics.
They quote one manager who complains: Get them committed to the change, or, failing that, get them out. And once they are committed to change, shine a spotlight on their accomplishments, so others get the message.
Second, instead of just lecturing on the need for change, look for ways to get people to experience the harsh realities that make it necessary. A good consigliere can go a long way toward solving that problem.
A few more general ideas: If you have a project, create a task force. Mix employees with different experience levels: Younger team members may provide energy and optimism; veterans may provide insight from past experience. Want a different spin on brainstorming?
Encourage innovation through an egalitarian culture, flexible schedules, few meetings and interdisciplinary project teams.
Employees want to feel trusted. One way to foster that is by allowing people to work at home sometimes. Other times, just changing the office set-up helps spur innovation.
To encourage teamwork, eliminate exclusive-looking private office suites and assign everyone work stations in close proximity to jump-start communication. Consider using the extra space to create office amenities, like a better break room or an office gym.Tim Kuppler is the co-founder of initiativeblog.com and Director of Culture and Organization Development for Human Synergistics, a 40+ year pioneer in the workplace culture field with the mission of Changing the World—One Organization at a Time®.
Change can be a good thing when it is done holistically, taking the whole organization into consideration - including processes and systems and the culture of the organization - . The top of the organization must favor the culture change in order to actually implement the change in the rest of the organization.
Model culture change at the highest level. The behavior of the management needs to symbolize the kinds of values and behaviors that should be realized in the rest of the company. In order for any strategic change to be implemented successfully, the organization’s culture needs to be aligned.
Unfortunately, if it isn’t, the challenge is significant; changing culture is not an easy task. Before an organization can change its culture, it must first understand the current culture or the way that things in the organization are now.
Do take the time to pursue the activities recommended here before moving on to the next steps. One of the biggest challenges a company can face is changing people’s behavior — getting them to collaborate and be humble, for example, or .