Addressing Organisational Culture

February 8, 2016

Culture is a potential “asset” of all organisations. It develops whether intended or unintended, actively directed, or left to happenstance. At best, culture can be an asset that enables, energizes, and enhances human behavior and when wisely utilized, it can accelerate and sustain business results. At worst, culture can be a drag on productivity and emotional commitment. It can lead to underperformance and undermine long-term success. In either case, an organization’s culture
can be consciously steered and influenced to either enhance the impact it has on performance or reduce the resistance it can have on behavioural change.

 

“If you get the culture right, most of the other stuff will just take care of itself.” Tony Hsieh, Founder & CEO of Zappos.com

 

There are a number of fundamentals when it comes to culture, here is a little sneak peak to one of the fundamentals from our Geelong Women In Business Culture Workshop:

 

FUNDAMENTAL #1 – If you don’t have to overhaul or replace a culture, don’t!

A deeply imbedded culture does not change very much, very fast. Moreover, a major culture replacement requires extensive programs and structural redesign. Major culture overhaul or replacement efforts are hard to do and often fail. So, only attempt a major overhaul if really necessary, for example, in the face of a major “dislocation” event or crisis. But in most cases you don’t need and certainly don’t want to incur the risk of a major overhaul of your culture.

Changing an institutional culture successfully is difficult and complex, because a deeply imbedded culture tends to evolve only slowly, if at all, and changes to ingrained attitudes and beliefs are often strongly resisted.

Situations where the culture doesn’t need a full overhaul but needs to evolve and adapt only in certain areas occur much more frequently.

 

FUNDAMENTAL #2 – Focus on changing only the few critical behaviours at different levels within key populations. This is less disruptive than attempting wholesale change and certainly more manageable and sustainable over time... 

 

 

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