It’s scary to think about the amount of time wasted on culture change.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a crucial activity.
👉 The problem.
Many leaders approach culture change in the wrong way.
You might have seen this story play out.
It’s the annual “culture” day for the leadership team.
After a few “trust falls” and fun games the team get down to business.
“Our culture isn’t working, let's brainstorm our company values.”
A few hours later
“Trust, Honesty, Collaboration, Fun, Respect”
“Let’s present these at the next company-wide meeting. And don’t forget to print our values onto the company stationary.”
It’s an oversimplification but a common reality.
When changing culture, it’s easy to focus on the wrong things.
Leaders assume that values are important. Which they are. But you don’t start there.
👉 The solution.
The highest return on investment comes when you focus on behaviours.
What are the trademark behaviours of the culture we want to emerge?
But you need to be specific.
“Listening” is not enough.
With vague behaviours, anyone can say they’re a good listener.
Contrast with this:
At regular intervals, I summarise what someone has said and ask an open question to ask for understanding: What else did I miss?
Now that is more specific.
It enables people to give each other feedback when the behaviour does or doesn’t happen.
Learn more about how to change the culture and why you shouldn’t develop a coaching culture.