This blog post is the third and final part of this series 7 Steps to a Culture Transformation. I encourage you to read the previous entries on this series, 7 Steps to a Culture Transformation and 7 Steps to a Culture Transformation [Part 2], if you have not done so already.
After completing the first five steps, you have done the foundational steps described in the previous entries: Understanding the existing culture, removing the misfits, and defining your new cultural identity. However, the hard work begins in these last two steps because here is where you start shifting the mindsets and behaviors.
Consider the following quote as we dive in: “We can change the culture if we change behavior.” – Unknown
Here are the last two steps to complete this process:
- Provide direction – The objective of this step is to inform the organization of the long term plan for the business. Leaders must strive to create engagement with this activity. We will accomplish this by making employees feel essential by sharing important information and also by clarifying that they are part of the plan and that they have a role in shaping that future. Read this blog to learn how the Lean Strategic Planning Process can help your business.
- Relentlessly support Your Team – This is the toughest of all the steps because it is all about execution. This step is where your leadership team’s will endures testing both collectively and individually. Collectively speaking, adversity will undoubtedly test the bond and levels of trust within the team. Your team must endure these trials and remain united, seek support from one another and be comfortable with vulnerability. Individually, your leaders will have to embrace the new cultural identity and become stewards and enforcers of that message. These roles demand they lead by example, inspiring others to adopt the new behaviors and holding accountable those that refuse to embrace them. Many situations will test both of these dimensions; again, you must lean on each other for support and never lose sight of the goal and use your cultural identity elements as your guides for handling situations and decision making.
Even though this process only has seven steps, the time to implement behavior change at this scale is a long one. Be prepared for setbacks, and once you define your culture, do not waver in your adherence to it. That goes as far as not penalizing someone for following it even if it leads to undesired situations. Some elements may change slightly as your business grows and evolves. However, the essence of your culture must be trailing and semi-static. Furthermore, use your identity as a guide for critical business and personnel decisions at all levels (tactical and strategic)
If you are dealing with a toxic culture, and you would like to discuss your specific situation please schedule a call.
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