Changing Company Culture Requires a Movement, Not a Mandate
Culture is like the wind. It is invisible, yet its effect can be seen and felt. When it is blowing in your direction it makes for smooth sailing. When it is blowing against you, everything is more difficult. For organizations seeking to become more adaptive and innovative, culture change is often the most challenging part of the transformation. But culture change can’t be achieved through top-down mandate. It lives in the collective hearts and habits of people and their shared perception of “how things are done around here.” Culture change needs to happen through a movement, not a mandate. To create a movement in your organization, start by framing the issue in terms that stir emotion and incite action; then mobilize more supporters by demonstrating quick wins. Broadcast these wins to an even wider audience by leveraging employees’ social networks, and using symbolism and pockets of innovation to keep momentum going. It’s important to start with actions, not new mission statements or company structures, because culture change only happens when people take action. Show people the change you want to see.
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