Whether organizational culture just happens or is actively and consciously managed, it always has an impact on business success - working in both directions.
For culture to be an effective driver of success, it should have its foundation in the organization’s strategy framework. Like strategy culture transformation is initiated and driven from the top - it cannot be delegated to HR or a project team. Culture transformation takes time, as it requires people to give up long-held assumptions and to learn and adopt new ones.
Kick-off events, learning programs, video-messages, posters and leaflets are useful tools to get the important messages on culture and values across. But they will not be sufficient to override established behaviors within an organization’s management.
Culture transformation requires leaders to be highly persuasive and credible in their communication in order to make others comfortable with the process. An organization’s leadership should therefore send consistent and frequent messages about the aspired future, its underlying values and desired behaviors and how these are connected with business realities and strategy.
“Walk the talk!” is an essential ingredient for any culture transformation, as every move leaders make is being watched by those who they lead. Leaders who effectively model the desired behaviors of a performance culture have a license to expect the same from their teams.
We therefore recommend our clients to incorporate the specific behaviours that complement their shared values and cultures into all their talent and leadership assessment activities.
As part of a consistent culture transformation process regular measurement of progress is essential as it creates accountability and allows for correction and reinforcement where necessary.