As organizations move further into the Knowledge Era and experience the complexities therefrom within their business operations, values-based organizational culture initiatives become even more imperative. Having a trusted collaborator to work with you on these initiatives goes a long way towards having an objective perspective, understanding your overall organizational system, and bringing in recommendations that you may not have yet considered. A trusted collaborator takes the time to build a strong relationship with you, and has several conversations upfront which serves to create understanding and trust to set an initiative for success.
At Spark, we take the following approach:
- As a trusted collaborator, Spark brings a different perspective and knowledge-base. We can observe more objectively than somebody in the organization. This process of observation provides a feedback loop which can be reinforcing–building on what is already going well such as strengths–and balancing–shining light on possible new goals.
- Using various approaches, we assess where the culture is at now as compared to the desired culture – approaches range from observation to interviewing to formal cultural assessment and focus on understanding values and beliefs that give insight to deeper assumptions driving the culture.
- We look for one or two key areas that can be leveraged to shift the culture in the desired direction. Changing culture works best by focusing on a specific behaviour or critical few behaviours, how they impact the current culture, and how modifying them can lead to the future state of the behaviour the organization desires. The proposed changes are set to be actionable, visible, and measurable, and adopting these behaviours has a meaningful impact on an organization’s objectives. In addition, having a few changes is achievable; whereas, having too many creates overwhelm and resistance.
- We also understand that the change process creates anxiety and support change by creating learning that feels safe. People can relax, and new learning or change is possible. Cultural change may thereby be created.
- We support leaders to identify and recruit influencers, leaders and champions who are open to change and who will advocate for and model the change. It just takes a few who will call for action and lead the way.
- Another element of influence includes customers and external stakeholders. Since the survival of a business is based on customers, they have a strong influence. Customer culture or surveys can shine a light on what is important to them and what they are looking for from the organization.
- We foster communication and collaboration which are key in implementing any change. People need to understand why the behaviors they are being asked to display are going to make a difference to the business and their lives and how the change is needed for the organization to be successful. Clarity, communication, and collaboration involve team members, and these are required for change to occur in a positively impactful way.
The above best practices can be applied separately and over time. A one step at a time approach creates a solid footing and momentum to create success. Change takes time. Go slow to go fast.
If you are interested in understanding where your organizational culture is currently at and how to move it in the direction you desire, please contact me for a complimentary, exploratory 30-minute call. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule in a time.
Yours in creating positive change,
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