Driving Cultural Change

Life is so full of changes in the present era and the workplace is no exception to that. We live in one of the most dynamic times where change and disruption are the new normal. Organizations are continuously enduring numerous changes, for instance, restructuring their business units with respect to market changes, mergers, re-organizations, acquisitions, and cultural changes. Moment, you think it has stopped it starts all over again. Have you ever thought wouldn’t it be great to make the entire change process less stressful and more successful? The good news is that there are ways to conduct changes such that it becomes one of the most effective initiatives for the organization. Working in one of the best organizations in the world which have endured changes for more than eight decades now and learning from some of the finest leaders, I have put across learnings and essential skill set described in the article.Creating a culture in your organization that embraces changes and leverage it as a dynamic source for growth. I have also integrated a few real-life examples from my experiences in helping people and leaders developing a growth mindset that became a catalyst for success. Change is one of the few constants in life. A powerful force that keeps our lives and cultures vibrant and dynamic. In our lifetime, what has changed tremendously is the rate of change that has swelled up exponentially due to the growth of population, intensification in global and social mobility and advancement in technology. Therefore, the rate at which change occurs has surged exponentially.

Indeed, this surge is experienced both at a personal level and universally all people across the world. I mean let us refer the facts, at an organization-wide level over half of the company that made Fortune 500 in the year 2000 list, no longer exists today. These companies have either dissolved, acquired or merged over a period of time. The silver lining is that it doesn’t have to happen to you or the company you work for. You can develop skills that help to produce a growth mindset in your organization and attitude that enable you to embrace the changes. In the process, develop a culture of change in the organization. Irrespective of the fact, changes seem intimidating at first! I observe most of the time, people are reluctant to make the change but when they finally do, they wished they had made it sooner. The majority of people share this attitude. Even when they know things need to be changed to make it more sustainable they are still reluctant to make that move. Instead of judging those people or stereotyping them, have you ever pondered psychology behind it? It is primarily from the perception that change is stressful thus, people try to avoid things that could potentially make them feel unpleasant or uncomfortable. We all often cling to things that are familiar instead of changing with time and diving into something we do not know that well.

As the recent research conducted by psychologists deduced, that stress is only harmful to health if you believe it is. Essentially, implying your perception regarding the change-related stress is actually more harmful than the actual stress itself. Thus, your preconceived notions, beliefs, and perceptions are more dangerous to your health than the actual reality of the situation. One of the biggest challenges with a culture change is the culture itself. Let me elaborate on my findings, many organizations offer different kinds of learning and training programs that are designed to help their employees work more effectively by changing their behavior and actions, for instance, learning how to become more organized or managed the time more effectively. Ideally, in order to drive a cultural change one requires support structures and the environment in place. However, in real life, what often is observed in change situations people easily become frustrated and forsake the new habits they learned since the environment hasn’t changed with them and may not support the new ways of working. Nevertheless, comprehending your company’s prevailing culture is an integral part in order to create a cultural change. One of the facts of life like night and day is, if the culture of the organization doesn’t support the change it aspires to achieve, then it will fail. After you understand the culture of the organization better, you can anticipate hindrance and develop a plan to overcome them.

Creating a culture of change is one of the few ways to virtually ensure that your business will survive and grow in the future. As an important lever of change, one needs to warrant that culture change one is pursuing is sustainable and one of the ways of doing it is to align with the business strategy. The organization’s business strategy lays a roadmap for where they aspire to go and how they plan to get there and the culture is the vehicle to drive it. Along this road trip, you might encounter detours and have to encounter reroute occasionally but vehicles need to go the distance.
Reference

Coyle, D. (2019). The culture code. The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups. London: Random House Business Books.

Bremer, M. (2018). Developing a Positive Culture Where People and Performance Thrive. New York: Motivational Press, Incorporated.

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