You don't sneak up on culture. Cultures often resist what they need. Momentum, energy and critical mass are needed to engage all employees.--Jim Hart, Senn Delaney president and CEO
(PRWEB UK) 27 August 2012
In 35 years of partnering with CEOs and their top leadership teams to create healthy, high-performance culture, Senn Delaney has discovered that those companies that have made a successful, sustained and measurable shift in the culture had one thing in common. They used a complete and comprehensive system of change, with an awareness of and a focus on four key principles of successful culture shaping.
Senn Delaney, the leading international authority and successful practitioner of culture shaping that enhances the spirit and performance of organisations, has released a best practice thought leadership video to help business leaders understand what those four keys to successfully transforming corporate culture are. “Changing organisational culture is one of the biggest challenges businesses face today, but when done correctly, it can create significant competitive advantage,” says Senn Delaney President and CEO Jim Hart. “Cultures happen by default or design. Leading the culture of the organisation is a critical factor in effective execution of your strategy. At best, the corporate culture can be a competitive advantage; at worst, it can be a significant drag on business results.”
Hart describes the four key principles business leaders need to focus on to successfully transform an organisation’s culture in a video that is part of Senn Delaney’s series of expert best practices in culture change.
The four keys Hart describes are:
1) Purposeful leadership
The CEO and senior leadership must own and lead the culture-shaping process. “Culture change has to begin with leaders having a clear, compelling purpose for themselves and their organisation, coupled with a strong business rationale to inspire a Thriving organisational culture,” says Hart.
The process needs to be supported by resources and a systematic execution plan, like any other business strategy. Leaders cast a powerful shadow; therefore, the culture needs to be explicitly defined via values and behaviours and modelled by the senior team, he notes.
2) Personal change
“People need to unfreeze existing habits and make personal behaviour change. This occurs on an emotional level that is achieved through insight-based learning. This unfreezing process is best accomplished in natural work teams to shift thinking and reinforce change," Hart states. Employees at all levels of an organisation need to understand the why the culture is being shaped. They need to be clear on the 'from and to' of the journey and what's in it for them.
3) Broad engagement with energy, momentum and mass
“You don’t sneak up on culture. Cultures often resist what they need the most,” states Hart. Momentum, energy and critical mass are needed to engage all employees. The faster people are engaged in the process, the higher the probability the culture will shift, Hart states. A broad group of active, visible leaders needs to engage all employees, top to bottom, in shaping the desired culture.
4) Focused sustainability
Shaping a culture is not a one-time event. It requires a methodical, comprehensive and integrated approach to shifting a company's culture from the top to the bottom, Hart notes. Systematic reinforcement of the desired behaviours and values is needed at the individual, team and the organisation level. Institutional practices, systems, performance drivers and capabilities need to drive toward the desired culture — including, but not limited to: communication, training, measurement, rewards and reinforcement, performance management and HR practices and physical layout. Visible application, measurable results with feedback and coaching, rewards and consequences are needed to make the culture real and create accountability.
"Companies that have followed these key principles of culture shaping using our organisational engagement process have been quite successful in creating cultures with all employees operating at their best from top to bottom and have experienced many important benefits."
About Senn Delaney
Founded in 1978, Senn Delaney is widely recognised as the leading international authority and successful practitioner of culture shaping that enhances the spirit and performance of organisations. Senn Delaney's passion and singular focus on culture, combined with decades of hands-on experience, has resulted in a comprehensive and proven culture-shaping methodology that engages people and measurably impacts both the spirit and performance of organisations.
Visit Senn Delaney's new thought leadership video channel, SDTV, at http://sdtv.senndelaney.com for expert advice on best practices in culture shaping, CEO interviews on leadership and leading culture, client success stories and more.