Everyone knows the Peter Drucker quote, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” But many leaders don’t understand just how accurate that statement is or what to do about it.
For leaders who know their organizational culture is a problem but don’t know how to fix it, our culture and happiness programs provide a roadmap that will transform your culture in deliberate and long-lasting ways that will help you meet your strategic goals while creating more employee happiness.
Your Culture is Everything
94% of executives know that company culture directly affects their bottom line, but only 31% believe their culture is driving the org forward and even fewer know how to effectively transform culture.
Is Your Culture Serving Your Organizational Goals?
Company culture can grow in unhealthy and toxic ways when it is not intentionally shaped and guided. This can happen even in great companies. Culture can take a hit when an organization expands very quickly or changes direction to meet market needs, or when there is a global pandemic and everything gets flipped upside down and sideways!
When it’s time to evaluate and address company culture, you want a methodical and thoughtful approach to create meaningful and lasting change.
We help you understand your actual, current culture and how it is serving or not serving your strategy. We help you define your optimal culture which is the culture that will drive the results of your organizational strategy. And, we help you understand your desired culture. This is the culture your people want, but don’t have.
We use the wisdom of ancient Polynesian wayfinders to guide our culture transformation process. Wayfinders knew certain elements were crucial for a successful voyage to a new land: the entire village was involved, they had a clear course strategy, they fully understood how to monitor their route along the way, and they knew how to determine when they had arrived.
Culture Transformation Program Method
Preparing to Take the Journey
We start with an intense leadership preparation program. Leading any kind of change is challenging and there are a lot of ways it can go wrong. Leading culture change is typically the most challenging change for an organization. Addressing this level of challenge means it is crucial to start with a six (or more) month period of coaching for your leadership team.
We help leaders understand how their own personal blind spots and limiting beliefs might unconsciously sabotage the culture change process.
It’s OK. Every one of us has blind spots and limiting beliefs. It’s part of being human.
We also use this preparation time to get the leadership time excited about the new vision and the crucial role each of them will play in this process.
Orientation is understanding where you are right now. You can’t chart a path from point A to point B is you don’t know where point A actually is. This is where we define your actual culture. Where does the current culture fall within the five primary cultural dimensions of power, gender, time, identity, and uncertainty?
Once we have your current culture defined, we can assess how well it is serving your strategy. Where do the culture and strategy align? What is working and not working for employees, customers, and stakeholders?
We also define the desired culture during this phase. What do your employees believe is the ideal culture for them? This information is used as we define the strategic journey from actual culture to optimal culture.
We will consider all components of culture and define how they serve your organization’s vision & values: behaviors, words & communication, things, procedures & processes, and rituals.
Setting a Course Strategy
Leadership is prepared. We understand the actual culture along with the desired culture. Now it’s time to define the organization’s optimal culture, the culture that fully supports and will drive your strategy. Once we have our “point B” we can establish the journey to get there.
We will determine where you want to go, how you’ll get there, and what challenges you’ll need to address along the way. We’ll find our culture champions and set realistic timeframes.
We’ll plan the process for organizational-wide buy-in on the changes we’re making. We’ll strategize how culture will be communicated and sustained. We will determine how culture alignment is recognized and rewarded.
We will have the system for measuring and assessing cultural alignment. We will determine the changes in your hiring/onboarding/training processes that are needed to support your culture.
Perhaps most importantly, we will unearth the possible problems and issues we’ll encounter along the way and we will plan how to prevent and address those potential challenges.
Year Two — The Journey
During the second year, we are executing the plan we developed in the first twelve months. We will have monthly check ins with measurable results and reporting. We will actively watch for any issues and problems and address them immediately should any arise.
During the course strategy, we defined our “Destination Recognition.” We determined how we will know the culture transformation is occurring. We defined the behaviors, the actions, the words, the style of leadership, and all other points that are in our optimal culture. We have KPIs that measure progress toward our strategic goals and we’ll use those as the “bottom line” measurement of the success of our culture transformation.
Cultural transformation is challenging; there is no quick fix and there are many, many ways to do it wrong. True, lasting cultural transformation is much more than flexible hours and free snacks in the office.
No matter how big or small your cultural changes need to be, we can guide you through these uncharted waters. We can provide the expertise and skill for a successful transformation that results in faster, steadier success toward your goals as well as a happier, more productive work force.