Three Keys to Effective Culture Change
It is difficult to imagine a more trying time for business in general and for privately held businesses in particular. With so much uncertainty, how do leading companies manage to advance their growth plans?
Even the best business strategy will fall short without a sound plan for implementation and flawless execution. A key driver of predictable, repeatable performance and growth is a world class organization structure and a positive, supportive workplace culture. While this a commonly held belief among business leaders, why do so many struggle to get this right?
The need for culture change can be triggered by an unfortunate event (loss of a key account, valued employees expressing dissatisfaction and/or leaving for something better, etc.). The process of culture change (and it is a process, not an event), can seem overwhelming for those seeking a “quick fix”. Tactical approaches may yield short-term improvements, but they fall far short of building the kind of sustainable high-performance culture that differentiates the organization from the competition and makes strategic and tactical plans come to life.
The most effective way to improve operating culture is to plan for it, not as a separate, isolated effort but as an integrated part of the strategic plan. And while key performance indicators will include short-term outcomes, sustainable success will be found over an extended period of time.
It comes down to three critical success factors: Confidence in the process, trust in the people and the patience to see it through. There may be times of frustration and even dissatisfaction with the pace of progress of your culture change plan. Evaluate, make adjustment as needed but stay with it! Doing so will go a long way toward demonstrating the leader’s commitment to change and will avoid the cynicism that comes from yet another “flavor of the month” program that is tossed aside at the first sign of a misstep.
For more information on building a stronger culture in your organization, contact me at email@example.com
Joseph P. Truncale, Ph.D., CAE, is the Founder and Principal of Alexander Joseph Associates, a privately held consultancy specializing in executive business advisory services with clients throughout the graphic communications industry.
Joe spent 30 years with NAPL, including 11 years as President and CEO. He is an adjunct professor at NYU teaching graduate courses in Executive Leadership; Financial Management and Analysis; Finance for Marketing Decisions; and Leadership: The C Suite Perspective. He may be reached at Joe@ajstrategy.com. Phone or text: (201) 394-8160.