How many organisations approach culture transformation or organisational change by waving a magical ‘process’ wand?: “We need to change everybody’s behaviour, so let’s create a new appraisal method / install a new system / give everyone a personalised values mug.”
And then, abracadabra … the behaviour doesn’t change.
The failure of purely processed-based solutions like these can give culture initiatives a bad name, making culture change seem unmanageable and downright impossible.
At Walking the Talk, we believe that genuine culture transformation operates beyond a new ‘to-do’ list for your organisation. You need to be operating on the layers that sit beneath what your business does in order to get the root of why your culture is happening that way.
We’ve found, time and time again, that by working on all the layers of your business through our BE-DO-HAVE framework, our clients can achieve lasting organisational change that’s fit-for-purpose.
You HAVE tangible outcomes in your business – your financial results, market share, reputation, customer and employee satisfaction levels.
These outcomes are the result of what you DO – the decisions, behaviours, systems and actions in your business. To HAVE different outcomes, you need to DO different things.
And people do what they do because of what’s going on at the BE-level. What people think, feel, believe and value causes them to choose certain actions. To truly manage culture, you need to be managing both the BE and the DO levels.
A client wanted to change the culture to become more Customer-Centric. They embarked on an intensive training program across all their teams with a view to making customer interactions more effective. They were DOING a different thing.
The problem was that they had no positive shift in their customer satisfaction or retention scores. It seemed that a Customer-Centric cultural shift was un-do-able.
We got involved and conducted a cultural assessment. The work showed a core belief within the company: they knew what was best for the customer. It was an arrogance which was undermining their ability to build genuine customer relationships. Without tackling this mindset, the training was falling on stony ground, and the new culture could not take hold.
We worked with them to develop a mindset and behaviour pattern around curiosity and questioning, putting the customer agenda back into customer management and shifting the cultural patterns towards Customer-Centricity.
We’ve systematically incorporated the BE and the DO into our methodology to deliver lasting results for your business.
We prove culture transformation is do-able.
With great power comes great responsibility. A leader, like a butterfly, can flap their wings and cause a hurricane.
The power inherent in a leader’s position amplifies the impact of their ‘walk’ and ‘talk’ across the business. We call it the shadow of the leader and most leaders we meet underestimate the length and breadth of their shadow.
Leaders, it’s often said drive the culture, which drives results. True, but this alone is not sufficient to drive cultural transformation. Culture has to be actively led and managed.
The things that leaders pay attention to, the things that they encourage, and the things that they let just slip by, all send a strong message to people about how they ought to behave. This is your leadership shadow.
Building awareness and capability at the leadership level to understand the cultural reverberations of the leadership's shadow is vital for effective cultural transformation.