4 Corporate Culture Mechanisms for Change

4 Corporate Culture Mechanisms for Change
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Are You Leveraging Your Corporate Culture Mechanisms for Change?
Organizational culture matters.  Our organizational alignment research found that workplace culture accounts for 40% of the difference between high and low performance in terms of revenue growth, profitability, customer loyalty, employee engagement, and leadership performance. And when Deloitte looked at culture through workers’ eyes, they reported that 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe that an aligned and clear company culture is key to a company’s success. Are you leveraging the power of your corporate culture mechanisms for change?

The Ideal Workplace Culture
Smart companies regularly assess their current organizational culture to identify the gaps between the current state and the culture they strive for to best execute their business and people strategies. In some cases, major changes are required to approach their desired corporate culture. But most often, leaders simply need to make minor shifts in order to protect what’s working and tweak what’s not. Whether major or minor, culture change can be challenging.

The Good News
Yes, any kind of organizational change is difficult. But data from our change management simulation combined with over forty years of change management consulting has revealed four key culture levers that organizations can use to powerfully affect, support, and anchor real culture change.

4 Corporate Culture Mechanisms for Change
Approach culture change through the following four strategic access points to achieve real change:

  1. Your Strategic Drivers
    Take a close look at your corporate vision, mission, and values. Are they clear, well understood, modeled, and supported by leaders and employees alike? Make sure that the purpose of the organization, your vision of success, and the values you hold are being followed, measured, and rewarded.

    When employees at every level are held accountable for their adherence to where the company is headed and how it wants to get there, you have a powerful lever to affect meaningful change and increase employee engagement.  For example, one executive team starts every board meeting with a “mission moment” to ground everyone to the fundamental purpose of the organization.

    Are you taking advantage of your strategic drivers to create meaning, connection, and engagement?
  2. Your Operations
    Research by Gartner uncovered that the processes, budgets, policies, and organizational structures that leaders set up to run the business have a three times greater impact on what employees do and think than what leaders say and do.  Carefully review how work gets done to ensure it does not conflict with what you want.  Pay special attention to hiring, professional development, decision making, performance management, career development, customer management, and succession planning

    Have you eliminated any disconnects between the behaviors you want to encourage and the business practices that encourage the opposite behaviors?
  3. Your Formal and Informal Leaders
    What your leaders, influencers, and high performers do and say sets the stage for what is acceptable and expected. When your formal and informal leaders champion and behave in alignment with the desired new ways, people take notice. The opposite is also true.

    For example, one client executive team has created clear behavior norms that an SVP of Legal consistently ignores without facing any direct repercussions. This sends a clear message about the actual team norms and creates a leadership trust gap.

    Are your leaders setting and living the right expectations to get you where you want to go in a way that makes sense?
  4. Your Workforce
    Strategies and change initiatives must go through your people and your culture to be successfully implemented.  Companies that hire and develop employees who are fully engaged and committed to your expectations move forward cohesively and quickly.  Organizations that ignore or minimize the behaviors, mindsets, and skills required to execute your plans struggle with decision making, workplace politics, and employee disengagement.

    Are you explicitly linking your talent management strategy with your business strategy and culture?

The Bottom Line
If you need to embark on organizational change, do not underestimate the systemic power of four organizational mechanisms for change that can speed up the process.  While they may feel daunting, their impact will be deep and lasting.

To learn more about how to lead organizational change, download How to Mobilize, Design and Transform Your Change Initiative

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