Cultural Course Correction

Last week I looked at how to develop a strong organizational culture which includes support for DEI, grounded in mutual trust and respect. That culture is built on structure, processes and people.
This week I want to talk about strengthening a culture that’s gone off the tracks.

When things are going well, it’s easy to feel proud of a culture that surrounds and supports every employee. But when things are not going well, many managers will suddenly decide, “We need to change the culture. We need to be more innovative, not so bureaucratic, closer to the client, or show more trust and respect for each other.” Slogans are developed and printed on mugs and banners, perhaps an off-site is scheduled, and the idea is suddenly worked into every memo.
Unfortunately, you will never change any organization’s culture just by telling employees that the culture needs to change. An offsite discussion might help get agreement from managers about what is desirable, but it won’t create that permanent change. You must “do something,” and not just once, but consistently and systematically. You must make real changes and communicate them.
It’s essential to hire the right people, to listen to them, and to support their efforts with resources and encouragement even when the going is tough. In return, all of those elements will produce a culture that embraces and supports DEI and other core organizational values.

Q: Is your organization currently facing culture challenges?

Q: How can you make real changes and communicate those to your staff?