September 26, 2011 Chris Fuller

Creating Intentional Organizational Culture

In the last Blog, I talked more about discovering your present culture and although there are a number of formal ways (Organizational Surveys, Discovery Initiatives, hiring great consultants like me) we talked about the informal (survey of eyes and ears).  

Today, I would like to take a few minutes and discuss next steps..  How do you tweak, shift, shape, remake, or even re-engineer the present culture into a desired culture.

Vision

As with most things in business (or life) we need to define our Burled Arch.  Without consideration to our present location – our first step is to dream – to envision where we want to go and what we want the team to feel like – again, broken into the three components of – Language, Beliefs, and Behaviors.

From a blank canvas, start to get a picture of desired daily life in your organization… 

What mindset do you want your organization approaching their day with?  What about HOW they approach their interactions with each other?  Or our clients?  Their mindset toward problems or adversity? 

What if you think (or feel) that you are not fully ready to carve a brand new, fresh trail of desired Culture?

 – Get others in the organization involved

 – Search for companies with great cultures and find one that feels right for you

 – Use others as a template

I am a firm believer that there is very little ‘new under the sun.’  Modeling your desired culture after another is a great way to start, while adding your unique perspective to it.

Finally, on the creation of vision, make sure that the new vision is a good fit for the organization or that it is a vision that can be (somewhat) easily adopted and implemented.  If the vision is too much of a radical shift – there may need to be some smaller vision shifts created to work the organization up to it.

Implementation

R.A.C.E. is my powerful and effective model  for Change Management.  The implementation phase of Culture shift must be broken into the components of making sure everyone is:

R – Ready to change (Line out with great clarity what the shift means in people and process, in Language, Beliefs and Behaviors)

A – Action is developing the internal marketing campaign FIRST!  We must take the action steps necessary to get our team on board! Use a phased-in approach while leveraging the Lead  and Swing Dogs for Team adoption.

C – Use Checkpoints to monitor progress and make mid-course corrections.

E – Evolve the Vision AND the process.

Cultural awareness is critical to having an Organization that operates with intentionality.  Cultural change, like most change, is not an easy undertaking.  However, with some strategy and a great process, you CAN shift your culture to something fantastic!

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