Culture is the Hidden Catalyst of Change

Your executives come to the conclusion that the company needs change. Soon after, the higher-ups send out statements filled with vague content. The confused employees adapt because the company “needs to be agile” in everything they do. However, after a few months, hardly anything significant has improved. According to Stokum and Corbetta, that is “how change initiatives frequently take place—and fail—at many firms.” Because of the magnitude of change, businesses must be robust and flexible. There has never been a more crucial time to involve your employees in the change process. To achieve a successful transformation, companies need culture—the hidden catalyst of change to naturally gain traction– on your side.  

“70% of high-performing organisations agree or strongly agree that culture is what drives their success on organisational and business outcomes.”- Quantum Workplace 2022 

For organisations looking to use culture as a driver for transformation, the authors identified three key takeaways: 

Link culture and business 

Culture change cannot be accomplished in solitude. Moreover, operational reform should never be done without addressing culture change. An essential component of the continuous journey, from change assessment to performance metrics, culture must be anchored in corporate context and logic. 

A favourite activity for many CEO’s is to embark on a major restructure without first developing and sharing a clear strategy, which underpins the need for a revised structure.  

Translate the adjustment into particular frontline team behaviours. 

Business outcomes make the overall framework for culture transformation clearer, but staff also need to be aware of the micro context, which pertains to the changes that must be made to their day-to-day tasks and team dynamics. This should be restricted to a “critical few” important target behaviours in order to avoid overwhelming employees and to enable quantifiable outcomes. 

For example, industrial organisations use zero harm metric to instil a strong safety ethic  

Make a plan, but be prepared to adjust it 

As with any change initiative, having a plan in place from the beginning is essential. However, you must also be prepared for changes to the plan. Respond to what is in front of you rather than what you anticipate seeing since measures that are effective in one business segment or market niche may not be effective at all in another. Instead of attempting to impose significant changes quickly, concentrate on making small improvements. And continuously track, analyse, and recognise outcomes. 

According to the 2022 Organisational Culture Research Report by Quantum Workplace, “66% of executives believe culture is more important than an organisation’s business strategy or operating model.” Moreover, changing the organisational culture is critical for successful transformation in order for the changes to adhere. The three principles mentioned above, when put into practice, may help businesses forge a partnership where culture practitioners and business executives can learn from each other and have a significant impact. 

Need a cultural shift but believe it will be too difficult? Don’t worry; CPC makes use of tried-and-true scientific techniques and actual proof that particular methods, processes, and behaviours are beneficial and essential. This implies that we may examine data points in more detail to develop a strategy that will steer your company in the appropriate direction and toward the desired result. Let’s discuss 

Adapted from: Strategy + Business | Culture: Transformation’s invisible enabler | Luna Corbetta and Margo Stokum