Seven Big Steps to Change Corporate Culture
Just like a company’s strategy and people, workplace culture cannot remain stagnant. A corporate culture needs to constantly shift and align with the business and people strategies. Unfortunately, leadership teams often wait too long to take the big steps to change corporate culture to match their new strategies.
Underestimating the Performance Impact of Culture
We define culture as the collective stuff (values, beliefs, attitudes, knowledge, stories, communication and behaviors) that defines how things get done on a day-to-day basis. Our organizational alignment research found company culture accounts for 40% of the difference between high and low performing teams and organizations in terms of revenue, profitability, customer retention and employee engagement.
Desired Culture and Conflicts
Unfortunately too many companies have an unclear definition of how they expect employees to behave or have conflicting performance measures and goals.
How can you expect to perform at your peak if behavior and performance expectations are unclear or if day-to-day decisions undermine long-term strategies to change?
Ways to Change Corporate Culture
There are several options for steps to change corporate culture available to companies. You can hire new leadership, you can change your values, you can change how people are rewarded and held accountable or you can restructure the organization. While all four options have some merit depending upon what you are trying to accomplish and why, here are the seven big steps to change corporate culture:
1. Ensure Strategic Clarity and Believability
Because strategy must go through culture and people to be fully implemented, smart leaders ensure strategic clarity at the company, division, team and individual levels before embarking on any cultural change initiatives.
A clear strategy sets the foundation for high levels of purpose, meaning and connection – three critical elements to set the stage for culture change. Our organizational alignment research found Strategic Clarity accounts for 31% of the difference between high and low performing teams and organizations. Is your strategy clear enough?
Do not make the mistake of trying to change your cultural norms unless your strategy is clear and up for the marketplace challenges you face.
2. Assess Your Current Culture
Be as objective as possible in assessing your current workplace culture. Don’t pull any punches. If you’re going to do it right, you need to assess your levels of cultural health, performance and strategic alignment so you know where you stand compared to where you want to go.
3. Define Your Desired Culture
Once you understand your current levels of cultural health, performance and strategic alignment, it is time to clearly define the desired culture necessary to execute your people and business strategies. Effective leaders align their organizational culture to their business strategy across ten cultural dimensions:
4. Identify the Culture Gaps
Once you understand the major differences between your current and desired organizational culture, your next step is to identify the critical one or two most impactful cultural shifts required to successfully execute your strategy. Then define what cultural change will mean for the organization and how to take action.
5. Plan Steps to Change Corporate Culture
This is where you identify and train culture champions and prepare to support them with what they need to help align your culture to your strategy. You need an explicit road map for change that breaks down each key initiative into action steps that are tied to key performance indicators, objectives, deliverables and milestones.
6. Spread the Word of Culture Change
Each and every employee should become as familiar with the culture change plan as you are. They should be able to articulate what the specific culture changes are, why they are important and how they will help to accelerate the overall people and business strategies compared to the status quo. Everyone should understand their unique contribution to the effort and how culture change will benefit the organization, their team and them as an individual.
7. Lead by Example
Leaders, high performers and culture change champions must consistently model what it looks like to live the desired behaviors. This is your opportunity as a leader to behave in a way that is consistent with the cultural values you endorse. Those who “walk the talk” should be recognized and rewarded; those who don’t should face consequences.
8. Continuously Renew
Welcome suggestions from the workforce on how you can continue to improve the culture. Your employees are your experts. Their thoughts and ideas matter. As they participate more and more in the creation of positive vibes, the faster your culture will change in the right direction.
The Bottom Line
If you are determined, a winning and aligned culture need not be out of reach. Have the courage to tackle the problem…but do so with objectivity, careful planning, good and frequent communication, consistent modeling of the desired behaviors and readiness to refresh the plan as needed.
To learn more about the steps to change corporate culture, download The 3 Levels of a High Performance Culture
How to Better Handle Office Politics
How to Ensure Smart Talent Management
I am very impressed with the quality of work and talent. LSA did a great job of listening to my needs and providing the exact management training program expertise I needed to get the job done.
Director, Business Planning & Analysis
I consistently look to LSA Global when I need custom programs put together for my client groups. I can always count on LSA to do a thorough needs analysis and to put together spectacular programs that are well received. Their management development and performance management expertise and professionalism make them one of my top-rated learning and development partners.
HR Program Manager
We consider LSA our true business partner in the areas of Learning and Organizational Development. From Strategic Planning to Presentation Skills and Management Training, they continue to provide excellent value and extremely high quality solutions – not just one time events. I recommend them to anyone looking to drive true business results.
Michelle A. Mitchell
Vice President, Worldwide Human Resources
LSA’s consultant designed and delivered a half-day team building solution for our recent conference. It included careful customization to integrate the design with our new mission and values. Everyone had fun and identified key issues with our teamwork. Altogether a great program!
Director of HR
LSA custom designed a Management Development program that is absolutely “on target” for our technical managers. Their facilitator has done a superb job delivering the material in a way that is fast paced, highly interactive, and fun. She presents practical solutions to the people situations that our managers face every day. I regard LSA as an excellent partner that understands our business needs and a virtual member of our HR department.
Vice President Human Resources
Our company engaged LSA to do a specialized “train the trainer” program, and the consultant’s performance outdid our exceptionally high standards for such a program. Very crucial to the success of this program was the work done upfront to discuss our needs and to interview key members of our organization so that the program specifically met our goals. Our facilitators continue to comment on the success of the program. Thanks also for the follow-up.
Chief Financial Officer
SeaTel has found our partnership with LSA Global to be very valuable and beneficial. We turned to LSA to customize a supervisory/leadership solution to meet our needs. LSA delivered a customized top quality solution. I’d recommend LSA Global to any company looking for a best-in-class training and consulting partner.
Avon’s success is dependent on strong relationships among our Customers, Representatives, Associates, and outside resources we hire to help us meet our business objectives. We were very pleased with the results from working with LSA Global to design and facilitate a custom program for our events management team. LSA demonstrated responsiveness, flexibility, and an innovative approach to working with us.
Senior Manager, HR Destiny Sales Region
For our go to training outsourcing partner, LSA provides exactly what we want. As always, they deliver outstanding work!
Director, Organizational Excellence & Development
LSA helped us design and deliver a blended learning solution for our leaders to help drive our growth plans in a way that aligned with our specific culture and values. LSA understood our business, had deep expertise in the content areas, tailored the programs to fit our specific needs, and delivered great results. They constantly strive to deliver business impact and align their solutions with our business initiates, culture, and performance management systems. I highly recommend them to anyone looking to take their leaders to the next level.”
Beth A. Taylor
Vice President of Human Resources
Working with LSA Global has proven to be extremely valuable and worthwhile. LSA understands our business, has deep expertise in content areas, and tailors the programs to deliver great results. The facilitator was extremely knowledgeable about Working Globally with India and her energy and passion made the session interesting, fun, and enjoyable for all that attended. The participants walked away extremely pleased along with highly useful practices and tools. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company that has partners or offices in India.
Human Resources Business Partner
Each program is preceded by an assessment of the participants. The course is then designed to fit the specific parameters and needs of the group. The highly interactive delivery is provided by recognized experts in their fields. On the spot coaching is provided during the program and each participant receives individual follow-up after the course. Courses can be delivered in-person or virtually. Given the nature of Cisco’s business and the way we operate, these remote workshops are a must for anyone who joins our company. Their work is eye opening. Great content and fantastic delivery.
Frank J. Kuypers
Business Development Manager
I’ve partnered with LSA Global at two companies now, and I consider them a valuable and trusted training and consulting resource. They recommended just the right solution to address our management development needs and have wonderful facilitators that match YuMe’s culture and style of our management team. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company wanting to deliver quality learning solutions with a valuable learning and development partner.
On behalf of Roche and my staff I would like to sincerely thank you for your help with this. The English as a Second Language (ESL) assessment and coaching that you provided for our team was a great success.
The LSA Global team was very receptive and flexible to our needs every step of the way. Their staff and facilitator demonstrated attention to detail, responsiveness, and professional courtesy. The participants were thrilled with the outcome and rated the communication skills workshop and the facilitator as ‘Excellent’. I’d highly recommend working with the LSA Global team to meet your professional development needs.
Download key published insights and tools from industry experts highlighting best practices in the areas of talent, strategy and culture.
Want to know how you stack up against leading organizations? Receive a complimentary benchmarking analysis courtesy of an LSA Expert.
Get up to speed on timely solutions critical to your business. Published by LSA Experts based upon client feedback and key industry trends.
First we identify the key metrics you want to improve. Then we assemble a dedicated team of elite experts who have successfully solved similar problems with similar clients.
Stay up to do date with the latest information on how we help high growth companies align their culture and talent with strategy.
Real world consulting and training approaches from LSA projects, providing insights on how your company can outperform the competition.