The Essence of Culture Change

A well-executed corporate culture change process is a complex operation that requires the launching of several well-synchronized parallel processes with clearly defined time frames and objectives.

This concise Fulcrum highlights the vital key element that sits at the heart of this process, that when not properly addressed undermines the needed outcome.

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Every meaningful process in our lives has two distinct aspects: Core and expression. As an example, consider values. When a person deeply upholds family values, it is witnessed in one’s attitude and behaviour. On the other hand, a deficient core dulls the expression.

A culture is a mixing-pot, made up of a multitude of diverse processes, under-currents and cross-currents of different influences, low to high. A culture change process is arguably the most challenging and demanding process in the context of inter-human interaction because it requires fundamental attitudinal and behavioural changes that are only possible when those involved are in agreement with the reason why, leading to clarity of vision, mission and purpose.

When people who work together are in confusion, conflict or disagreement regarding the matters of mission, vision and purpose – and the way they are being managed and driven – a culture’s holding patterns and drivers sink to low common denominators, where a person’s reason for being there may not be because they want to but rather because they have no other option due to life circumstance.

Numerous dimensions need addressing in the course of a culture change process. Growing complexity, fierce competition, game-changing technologies and above all, radical global change that is by large not understood, often leading to the introduction of ineffective structures that give rise to frictions, mistrust and inefficiencies. However, knowing where and how to launch a change process determines the outcome. Start at the wrong level and regardless of how well executed, the battle is lost before it began.

There are scenarios where the only way to bring about a culture change is to create a completely new one from scratch. The 21st century is a glaring case study here. While so many of its citizens are truly great people with so much good happening and constantly being attempted, its driving essence is made of a multitude of misaligned, fiercely opposing forces. Can it give birth to a new culture from within itself? Because what is needed is a unifying mission and a new constitution that would irrevocably separate it from the ills of history. (Yes, this is indeed a utopian vision)

The greater the misalignment from the way life is meant to be, the harsher the control that is imposed upon the people

Which brings us to the vital key element of a culture change process.

At its core, a culture change process is a foundational leadership transformation process; where the senior leadership structure of an organization goes through a transformative process, to update or entirely redefine the organization’s vision, mission and strategic objectives and radically elevate the depth, efficacy and quality of the conversation – and thereby the trust dimension – between themselves and with the entire workforce.

The future holds a plethora of new opportunities. The trigger consists of visionary people inspired by the prospects and freedom of being ambassadors, manifestors (new word…), liberators and creators of bright new futures.

This is the essence of a culture change process.

Please do leave a comment – your feedback is most welcome.

David Gommé

World Copyright 2019© David Gommé

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