Culture change is about one thing: shifting the cultural beliefs that are created through daily organizational experiences and end up determining daily actions. Experiences create beliefs, beliefs determine actions, and actions produce results. Culture change does not require a large personality, cunning manipulation, inspirational appeals, or giant leaps of faith. It simply requires honest intentions, conscious thought, and focused effort. What sort of effort? Effort focused on modeling the new culture for everyone in the organization. Yes, it is just that simple. Once you have identified the new experiences, beliefs, and actions that define the culture and results you want, start modeling the change.
Here’s how “modeling the change” works. Whenever you receive feedback that how you’re acting or thinking is creating an experience for others that is inconsistent with the new culture, apply the Methodology for Changing Beliefs. These five simple steps will immediately get people looking for evidence of your true alignment and sincere desire to model the new culture. Both individuals and teams can use this methodology to stimulate robust dialogue around the new culture and desired results.
|1.||Identify the belief you want to change and then say, “That’s not the belief I want you to hold.”|
|2.||Tell them the belief you would like them to hold by saying, “The belief I want you to hold is … ”|
|3.||Describe the experience you are going to create for them and say, “Here’s what I’m going to do … ”|
|4.||Ask them for feedback on the planned experience by saying, “Will that be enough; is there something else I need to do?”|
|5.||Enroll them in giving you feedback on your progress and then say, “Will you give me feedback along the way?”|
When leaders honestly execute each of the above steps, they launch the same thought process in those who are watching. Soon others get the message that “I ought to be acting and thinking like that, too.” The result? Everyone in the organization begins looking for demonstration of the new belief (i.e., new way of thinking and acting), thinking about the new belief behavior, and seeking that behavior both in their fellow workers and, most importantly, in themselves.
Culture change occurs when leaders model the new culture. To learn more about change methods that do work, we invite you to join the Accountability Community at www.ozprinciple.com, where you can review actual client case studies.
Methodology for Changing Beliefs and Accountability Community are registered trademarks of Partners In Leadership, Inc.
Is your culture working for or against you? In other words, is your culture facilitating or hindering your ability to achieve your organization’s desired results? Answer the following questions to perform a Culture Quick Test:
|•||Is your current culture unable to produce the results you’ve promised?|
|•||Will your current culture have difficulty delivering the results you need in the future?|
|•||Are there actions your people need to stop doing because those actions just don’t get results?|
|•||Are there actions your people need to start doing because those actions are needed to achieve your desired results?|
|•||Are the right (necessary) experiences, beliefs, and actions being hindered or impeded by your current culture?|
If you answered “Yes” to three or more of the above questions, you need to shift the way your people think and act now, not later. Changing your organization’s culture is not an option—it’s an imperative!
Culture depends on results and results depend on culture. You can build a company culture around any set of desired results: market dominance, sales growth, technological excellence, ease of customer interaction, best-in-class quality, or stable earnings, just to name a few. Once the target results are clear, you should move quickly to create a culture that produces the necessary experiences, beliefs, and actions to achieve those results.
Consider CPI’s classic culture change story. Cardiac Pacemakers Inc. (CPI), a leader in cardiovascular technology, was “going 90-mph down an icy road and heading toward a cliff,” according to its CEO Jay Graf. The company had experienced historic sales growth, but two formidable competitors were about to introduce new products that could eclipse CPI’s. Making matters worse, CPI’s new product development capabilities had seriously waned in recent years. Graf was faced with a major turn around that would involve rebuilding the company’s new product development capability. Graf and his team made the case for change from the current results (R1) to the desired results (R2) and communicated it throughout the entire organization. As management led the way, the rest of the company felt empowered to get on board and take accountability for making it happen. Within two years, CPI created what industry observers described as “a new product-development machine” that produced 14 new products in 14 months, doubling sales and increasing the stock price nine-fold.
For more information about clearly defining the shift from R1 to R2 that can speed up culture change and thereby speed up results, we invite you to join the Accountability Community at www.ozprinciple.com, where you can review actual client case studies.
Accountability Community is a registered trademark of Partners In Leadership, Inc.
Recent studies have shown that over 50% of people who leave their jobs, leave because of poor relations with managers. One in four workers describe their workplace as a “dictatorship.” Only half of all workers claim their bosses treat them well. Seven out of ten workers are either actively or passively disengaged at work. Needless to say, when leaders and managers fail to practice what they preach, walk the talk, or take accountability for modeling the behavior they expect from others, they risk creating a work culture of contradiction, cynicism, and disengagement.
Leaders and managers who exemplify taking accountability for achieving results are more likely to inspire and encourage their people to take greater accountability for achieving results. When it comes to taking accountability for results, example is everything, and leaders would do well to remember the sage advice of Albert Schweitzer: “Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing.” So what can you do if your boss is not setting a good example of taking accountability for results?
Share some Focused Feedback: “Can I share some feedback with you that I think will help us get better results?” Share both appreciative and constructive feedback. Don’t be one-sided. Present a well-rounded, reasonable point of view. Frame your feedback in terms of impact on results. Most people don’t appreciate it when you beat around the bush, and they rarely like it when you talk behind their backs. Be candid, clear, courageous, and caring. Let them know that you really care about their effectiveness as a leader and about the results of the team.
To learn more about being a good example of taking accountability for results, we invite you to join the Accountability Community at www.ozprinciple.com, where you can review actual client case studies.
Focused Feedback, and Accountability Community are registered trademarks of Partners In Leadership, Inc.