You Won’t Be A Fool If You Approach Culture Change This Way

“Only a Fool Never Changes His Mind”

RICHARD BRANSON

Everything we do within our professional and personal lives involves change. Everyone one of us (regardless of our position or role) plays an integral part in changing culture.  

As people leaders, we need to know how to achieve our change without creating a toxic environment, and we must quickly identify and address all the blind spots (there are always many, never none). These two things will sabotage our efforts. 

In his book The Culture Solution, Mathew Kelly writes, “For too many leaders, culture isn’t important until it’s urgent.” And that’s often the case. For many, but maybe some (you know whom I am referring to), it’s not that you disagree that change is essential or it’s not that you don’t see the need to make changes. It’s simply that you are focusing on the bottom line. Why change anything if you are already successful? As a safety professional, I get these comments constantly. “We haven’t had anyone get anything in their eyes, or anyone complain about air quality, so why should we spend the money if there is no risk?”

Leading culture change requires patience and persistence. Patience, because it takes time. Persistence because cultivating a culture change requires a robust daily effort. With an intentional, persistent,consistent effort, you can cultivate healthier habits and behaviors that, over time, lead to a thriving, sustainable culture. 

Let me share some cultural insights with you:

  • Culture is most important to a company. 10:1 to the vision
  • People Leaders determine the culture
  • People follow your example
  • Moral authority to what say and back it up with life
  • Culture is the personality of the company

So how do we successfully form a culture? A thriving culture is formed through these basic approaches :

  1. Behaviors
  2. Symbols
  3. Systems

Behaviors 

  • focuses on serving those who do the work.
  • Know “Who does What and Why.”
  • Show your Commitment – always under-promise and over-deliver (Exceed Expectations)

Symbols

  • Not about the corporate office; it’s about the field
  • Not bout your position title; it’s about your ability to build respect and trust
  • Not about the money you make or the car you drive; it’s about adding value to your team

Systems

  • Quit belching out the bologna and bring home the bacon.
  • Success is always in the active stage to building a sustainable culture

SO WHAT/NOW WHAT

As leaders, we don’t want to be viewed as a fool because we were not successful in changing the culture. By the way, many organizations fail in their attempt to change the culture. It’s as important to approach the change in a manner that fully engages the workforc3 and creates respect and trust. If people don’t trust you, you can’t add value, and you become the FOOL!

“Change is the law of life. And those who look to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”

JOHN F. KENNEDY

Denis is an Executive Director at the John Maxwell Group, is a certified leadership coach, trainer, keynote speaker, and DISC Behavior, Consultant. Denis is currently the Director of Health & Safety for Ferguson Enterprises. He is a passionate person of influence committed to teaching and communicating practical and relevant influencing techniques.  His unique, passionate, and emotionally driven style resonates with many creating a desire to become an effective leader. 

You can contact Denis at dbaker@leaderinfluence.net for information on coaching, leadership, team and culture change training, DISC Behavioral consulting or to be an inspirational speaker at your next event.