Cultural Transformation: Don’t Miss The Blindingly Obvious!

“Culture does not change because we desire to change it. Culture changes when the organization is transformed – the culture reflects the realities of people working together every day”

– Frances Hesselbein


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Regrettably, almost 75% of organizational transformations downright fail.

I remember advising on this topic to a large “top-down” jaundiced client organization, best known in Industry for arbitrarily thrusting tactical commands upon dispassionate employees. Often that led to poorly executed projects, brusquely frenzied debates, unintended delays, and duplications. Leadership of the company was never in sync with the unfulfilled employees and their real issues. Customarily, culture in that company, remained an underleveraged cog in the revenue generating wheel.

Unexpectedly, most of the business leaders, hardly appreciate the incredible clout of an energized culture while dealing with the increased business complexities. It is not that easy to comprehend how to leverage and transform prevailing culture to enhance the success on the ground. It needs conjuring of an elusive “wake-up” intuition that the culture of a company can chew away the best crafted strategies. Largely, leaders of such organizations are far-off with regard to what they assume as their culture and the ground level realities.Probably, they try and acclimatize with the looming challenges by taking chances.

The first preparatory step in a culture change initiative is to find out what is “working” and “not working” in the organisation. Following tips are critical for attaining cultural advantage in any business. The pointers might sound obvious but are all exceptionally important.

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(Finally, you need to be tolerant. Transformation initiatives do take time. Even in the face of obvious reasons for transformation, an organization can be impervious to change. Prevalent culture in any organization is a familiar fusing medium for employees. Therefore, any change is perceived as intimidating)

When you objectively study the culture of an organization, you will realize that  it is (loosely) both- an independent (or causal or dispositional) and also a dependent variable. If it can seriously power and ignite the committed performance of the people,  enhances obedience towards formal systems & processes in the organization, it can equally be “energized” by constructive behaviour, respect for formal systems & processes, overall performance of the organization, and so on.

It is animatedly intertwined!

I hope that you will find this piece useful and that you will not commit similar slip-ups. Please bounce back your ideas and plans in case you too are embarking on similar journey.