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Culture helps or hinders

Lead Change with Culture and Positive Leadership

  • 27 October 2016
  • Posted by Marcella Bremer

Why would you bother with Culture? Simple: if you don't work with culture, it might work against your organization's much-needed change. And you'll never know what hit you... Or, maybe you have your suspicions - as we can see from the research findings below:

  • 96% say culture change is needed in their organizations (Strategy&)
  • 32% say their culture aligns with strategy (Korn Ferry) - so 68% does not!
  • 51% say they need a major culture change (Strategy&)
  • 13% of employees are engaged (Gallup) - so 87% is not (fully)!

Hmmm, so 96% is aware of culture being the hand that hinders their work... Interesting.

Organizational Culture

But isn't culture a soft phenomenon? Something you can ignore because you're busy achieving your business goals? That depends on what you call soft. I sometimes see how technically or financially educated executives perceive culture as an invisible hand - an influence they cannot see or have some grip on - hence, that can be neglected.

But culture can be a very hard hand that has a grip on you without you even noticing. How are you and your behaviors part of the current culture?

You wonder why your organization isn't more innovative? Is it because the competition is so technologically savvy that they are way ahead? Or is it because you're not open to learning new, unexpected information and you're quick to judge before you understand something?

You wonder why your organization is so bad at change? Is your staff too busy with their performance targets, so there is no time to change? And/or is it because you're so attached to your habits of thinking and doing?

Wonder why your best employees leave and managers are complaining? Employees must be disloyal and unreliable - you'd be better off if you did everything yourself. Or is it because you don't give others space to act, while you allow space for complaining? Complaining is not acting and not solving issues...

Wonder why turnover is on the decline and customers less content? Is it the tough market and unreasonably demanding and opportunistic clients? And/or haven't you listened to customers for a while?

Do you see what I mean? Culture is closely linked to leadership. Culture is about personal behaviors and interactions among people. The hand that helps or hinders becomes visible when you learn to see group dynamics. How people copy each other. How they coach each other. And, if needed, correct each other to do it the way we do things around here.

That may be easier to see for executives educated in humanities, health care, education and other "people-oriented" fields. But as we're all people - any executive can learn to "see" culture and work with it.

A start to learning more about culture is to download my new eBook "How to Lead Positive Change with Culture and Positive Leadership". This eBook also includes a bonus video about the developmental stages of organizational cultures - check where you are...

Positive Leadership

And why would you bother with Positive Leadership? Simple, again: it will help people open up to change and perform way better than when they're controlled, limited, scared, belittled, etc.

The research evidence is compelling: Positive Leadership makes a difference in productivity and happiness at work. It makes it easier to trust and to open up and change.

Culture Change LeadershipThe last thing you want during organizational change is fear, accusations, people not feeling safe and respected but closing themselves off. You don't need negative projections from the past either: “Things never work around here, and managers are out to get you.”

What you do want is people to see the positive possibilities of the change, the untapped future potential - and to achieve even more than they'd expected when they started the change.

You can't afford NOT to know about Positive Leadership, and wherever possible, apply it. Your organization depends on it.

I'd say: do not start a change program or new strategy without reading this eBook - and understand your company culture!

Why risk the time, money, and the motivation and expectations of everyone involved? It's effective to understand the culture and the basics of positive leadership before you start any change.

This eBook is an insightful, easy read with cases and examples. The journaling questions help you to better understand your situation.

I invite you to be the one who knows how to facilitate the necessary change by working with culture instead of against it. I hope you'll be a positive leader who engages the others.

Our workplaces are in need of positive leaders who entice the other 87% to fully engage and contribute their potential. Are you in?

I look forward to your responses and questions. Let me know how I can help you engage and upgrade your organization.

This blog series continues with how to apply positive leadership...

Copyright © Marcella Bremer 2016. All rights reserved.