Newly appointed leaders like to talk about changing their business culture because effecting that kind of change sounds like the universal panacea to business challenges that all senior managers look for.
And quite possibly, they are right… they’re just wrong to shout about it because they are probably setting themselves up for failure.
Why? Because culture is a bit of a will o’ the wisp—elusive when trying to pin it down and difficult to define and describe. It’s as much in the atmosphere and professionalism or otherwise exhibited in the Board Room as it is in the middle manager who spends an hour a day smoking outside the front entrance and the junior member of staff who walks by the eyesore piece of litter that he cannot remember discarding the day before.
Culture isn’t changed overnight either. It won’t be sorted in a couple of conferences. Nor will it be sorted our by the ‘core values’ campaign that quickly peters out to be replaced by next year’s initiative.
No. Culture changes are not effected from the top down. They’re effected from the inside out. Identify an individual or group of people or department that exhibits desired behaviours. Encourage these, add to them… grow these people into acknowledged examples of “how we’d like to do things round here“.
Their peers will notice and they will over time adopt the behaviours.
That’s the theory anyway.
Tags: atmosphere board room business challenges business culture ceo conferences core values culture and change culture changes failure front entrance go practice initiative internal memo junior member peers press release professionalism senior managers theyre universal panacea