By: Alan Brews
Organizational culture transformation is a unique and evolving system of structures, intentions, values and beliefs that are formed by experiences over time as the way in which a group of people operate together. As such it is persistent and requires considerable focus and intention to change.
Research has indicated, and most employees and leaders are aware of the vital importance of an enabling culture to organizational effectiveness. Activating such an enabling culture requires a whole organizational effort. It is not about a leadership mandate; it is about creating a movement within an organization that leaves no aspect of organizational life untouched.
Culture manifests as a system and it is therefore important to approach Culture Transformation at a systems level. The fundamental assumption here is that every organization or part of an organization operates as a system which requires the clarification of the following characteristics:
In order to facilitate culture transformation, we use the 4D process as laid out below:
The purpose of this phase is to prepare the leadership and the organization for the Culture Transformation process. Many culture transformation processes fail because the people in an organization were simply unprepared for the magnitude of the process.
In the Diligence phase we seek to achieve the following:
The purpose of the diagnosis phase is to understand the current culture of the organization and obtain an idea from all employees what they would like the culture to be. This forms the foundation upon which a Culture Transformation Plan can be developed.
In the diagnosis phase we seek to achieve the following:
The purpose of the design phase is to prepare a Culture Transformation Plan which aims to take the organization on a journey from the current culture to the desired culture. This plan may have multiple dimensions and will need to be carefully phased so that the organization can absorb its positive impact.
In the design phase we seek to achieve the following:
The purpose of this phase is to implement the Culture Transformation plan in such a way that it results in the desired incremental improvements in the culture of the organization.
In the delivery phase the Culture Transformation Strategy is implemented bearing in mind the following realities that we have learned through experience:
With this as a basis it is possible to examine some important dimensions of culture transformation.
Finally, a note about measuring culture transformation. Culture Transformation can be measured. Using a variety of tools culture can be measured both positively and negatively. Tools are available that can measure a range of changes in the workplace.
Ideally progress on the culture transformation journey should be formally assessed annually. If you need assistance with your Organizational Culture Transformation, please contact us today.