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5 Tips For Starting Your Cultural Transformation Movement

5 Tips For Starting Your Cultural Transformation Movement

Here are five tips for successfully building a thriving culture in your organization.

1. Identify the Purpose

If you want your culture to thrive, then you must identify and define the purpose of that culture. Purpose is defined as “an aim or end in view” or “that which one strives to accomplish.” Understanding the purpose will help you define what needs to be done and how that purpose can be realized.

2. Understand the Culture

Understanding the culture is essential for anyone who wishes to shape and define it. Culture shapes every employee’s behavior, so without first understanding the culture of your organization you won’t be able to effectively connect or model it. Additionally, you cannot change what you don’t understand. Understanding includes an analysis of the vision, mission, values, philosophy, systems, processes, policies, structure, expectations, rewards, procedures, and purpose.

There is a big difference between values and culture. Values are an organization's beliefs; they are sets of beliefs and standards that everyone who works for the company must abide by. Culture is how those beliefs are lived out in practice. To build a thriving culture, leaders need to understand what is already happening on the ground level.

3. Connect the Culture

If you want your business to succeed, it's important to connect the corporate culture with the company's goals. This means that everyone in the organization is on the same page, working towards the same objectives. The essential job of a leader is to make sure that this happens by defining, communicating, and creating a sense of unity among their employees. This is called creating a company culture.

4. Model the Culture

To connect the culture, you must model the culture. You cannot expect people to act a certain way if you do not act that way yourself. To create a cohesive and successful team, you must be the example that others look up to. If you are a naturally confident leader, you should have no problem modeling this. However, if you are not confident in yourself, you can still model the values of your company by making them known and letting everyone see that you believe in it.

5. Empower People to Act

If you want your company culture to be successful, you need to empower your employees to act in a certain way. This means giving them the tools and resources they need to succeed, and making sure they feel comfortable taking risks and speaking up. Because, let’s face it: having a strong company culture is pointless if no one knows what it is.

I think you can successfully introduce your company culture to new employees using 2 main tactics:

1. One-on-one introductions during their first few weeks on the job .

2. Group activities and discussions about the company culture during team building events

Employees should know what is expected of them and where they fit into the bigger picture. When you have an open communication culture in your company, people are encouraged to speak their minds, no matter how controversial their ideas may be. This type of environment encourages employees to think independently, take risks, and ultimately deliver a product that will please customers.

Now that we have a basic understanding of how to create a culture and how to develop a team based on that culture, let's look at how you can ensure that the culture is adaptive and can help your company thrive in these turbulent times.

Developing a Flexible Culture.

Culture is something you have to work at creating. It’s not something that happens on its own. That’s why it’s so important to get the basics of your culture right from the beginning. In addition, you must be constantly vigilant to make sure that what you are creating is what you want it to be. Change happens at a rapid pace in organizations these days, and every time you change something, your culture changes. Sometimes this happens on purpose as you build new components into your organizational culture. Other times, external events or circumstances force you to change your culture. When that happens, you need to be as intentional about the change as you are when building your culture. For example, a few years ago, I facilitated an off-site session for a software company that was interested in becoming more process-oriented and execution-driven. To become this kind of organization, the leaders decided to focus on hiring generalists (versus specialists) and putting more emphasis on their core business rather than on supporting the needs of individual divisions and business units. They decided to review their compensation systems, in order to encourage people to work across the business. They also set about creating a culture that would support the new way of working. All of these changes were implemented within two years, and the company is well on its way to becoming a fully integrated organization, built on clear values, core competencies, and consistent practices.

How did they do it? Well, the first step was to create a clarity of purpose, to create a vision for the new company. That vision had to be shared by everyone in the company. Each person in the company had to develop a deep understanding of that vision, so that everyone could fully internalize it.

To make sure that vision was clear and consistent throughout the organization, new leaders were trained. That training helped them to think about their own roles and how they were related to each other.

One of the first things taught was that for a leader, a customer may not be a person, but the vision is still a promise of what the organization will do for its customers. It's critical to remember that no one else in the organization can fully own the vision. Only the leaders can do that. So we crafted our vision: "We are the leader in high-quality professional services and thought leadership, in a growing and profitable market." This was a specific vision, not an abstract statement. It implied where we would be in five years and what we would do to make it happen.

Next, we articulated our purpose: "We strive to provide excellent service and thought leadership to help companies generate strong bottom-line results." Critical to remember is that a purpose statement is specific and tied to the vision of the organization. It communicates what the company does and how it benefits customers and services. It does not describe how or what the organization does.

The purpose statement gives employees a framework for understanding and getting excited about their jobs. It also gives them an idea of where the company is headed. It is important that everyone in the company, including you, the president or owner, has a sense of the purpose statement. Otherwise your employees will think they are working for you and not for their customer.

As a result of the company's purpose definition, we realized that it needed to be reflected in our marketing efforts. So we devised a set of key value propositions: "We provide opportunities for companies to improve their earnings and/or cash flow. "

As we developed our strategy and tactics, we turned again to the core values. Our first step was to define a common vision, or purpose statement, which we called the "Three I's": innovation, integrity, and interdependence. The purpose statement was used to guide all the subsequent steps. The Three I's guided us in creating the strategies to achieve our vision. It served as a tool to determine the future of our organization.

The Three I's also made it easier for us to deal with difficult decisions, some of which were in conflict with each other. For example, we decided that although our organization was already profitable, we should continue to grow so that we could secure our independence and have an even greater impact on the people and communities we serve. One of the more attractive selling points for us was that our customers have been willing to pay a price premium for our products and services. This means that we have had an opportunity to make money even when our operating costs increased.

We are able to increase our prices because we offer a good or service that is not available anywhere else in our market area. For example, our pharmacies don’t sell prescription drugs that are manufactured by other companies.

Are you a leader considering cultural transformation and change but feel overwhelmed at the thought?

At Bee'z Consulting, we have extensive experience in Leadership Skills development. We are on a mission to help Medium and Large Enterprises in their transformation to an agile and collaborative culture to fuel continued growth, and Leadership is a key component of success.

Contact us! We will be happy to brainstorm with you on how to achieve this important goal and develop a plan that suits your specific needs to support your company's growth.

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