Every organization has a culture – as a leader you need to know whether the culture is healthy or not. Toxic culture must be addressed but so should healthy culture to see if it needs tweaking.
Changing the culture in an organization can be a nightmare for a leader. If a change in leadership is because of a poor performing business, it can become incredibly frustrating for a new CEO to have to sideline results to focus on changing the culture.
But here’s a thought; what is your culture? Would it stand up to scrutiny? Are your values open to scrutiny both in your personal and business life?
Investopedia defines Corporate Culture as “the beliefs and behaviors that determine how a company’s employees and management interact and handle outside business transactions. Often, corporate culture is implied, not expressly defined, and develops organically over time from the cumulative traits of the people the company hires.”
Success comes from understanding the behaviors and motivations of the people. Only then can cultural change have a hope of succeeding. Using a highly-validated discovery such as DNA Behavior Natural Discovery process, leaders can identify, in advance, the people’s ability to cope with cultural change and how it should be introduced and communicated. Only then can CEOs know that whatever they introduce will work.
Culture change requires strong, focused, versatile and decisive leadership. A person’s performance needs to be addressed in relation to their behaviors and personality, not necessarily to their ability. Knowing an individual’s personality traits in advance, and how, or if, they fit the proposed organizational culture and values, can make all the difference in terms of the success or failure of the proposed changes.
There are several keys for CEOs that will support their cultural change efforts.
- If no one is talking and boasting about the culture of the organization, it’s a sure sign there isn’t one, or if there is, it’s toxic.
- It starts at the top – often said, but rarely practiced. A leader who knows their own personality, their EQ, their communication style, their bias (yes, we all have them) and their own personal values, are more likely to be able to introduce cultural change than a leader who does not have this insight.
- Measure the current culture – maybe not everything needs to change.
- The use of a validated personality discovery process can quickly identify those able to manage cultural change and who are behaviorally smart enough to capture culture and vision quickly and run with it.
- Data that delivers accurate information about people can identify quickly those who can be used as ambassadors to manage the introduction of cultural change. (And it won’t always be the obvious employees)
- Hiring – audit your hiring processes – introduce a validated personality profiling system. Set a hiring benchmark. Don’t settle for second best. Re-training existing employees could be a more effective option.
- When introducing a cultural change training program, keep auditing it to ensure it’s relevant and working.
- CEOs – it’s important not underestimate the power of your regular communication with the business. Use your communication to acknowledge the people who have disproportionate influence in the organization and are working with you to introduce the cultural change.
- If there are hot spots and resistance to the cultural change, name and shame them.
- CEOs – remember to create a vision of what the future for the organization looks like after the cultural change.
In conclusion – here’s the prize: as the culture develops and individuals take responsibility for what happens in their work areas, problems are solved where they happen and by those affected. This frees up leadership to focus on the business and its opportunities.