Cultural Change That Sticks

This article published by the Harvard Business Review states that in order to enhance a culture change in your organization you should consider the following

1. Match Strategy and Culture

2. Focus on a Few Critical Shifts in Behavior

3. Honor the Strengths of Your Existing Culture

4. Integrate Formal and Informal Interventions

5. Measure and Monitor Cultural Evolution

What I found most interesting is, that change management experts in this and many other articles recommend that one should not try to attack or try to remove the current culture, because culture is based on deep believes and values, and people do not change their values quickly (if ever). Therefore, it is much more likely to achieve a cultural change by building on the existing one, its values and its strengths.

The authors say: “Coherence among your culture, your strategic intent, and your performance priorities can make your whole organization more attractive to both employees and customers. Because deeply embedded cultures change slowly over time, working with and within the culture you have invariably is the best approach. The overall change effort will be far less jarring for all concerned. Simply put, rather than attacking the heart of your company, you will be making the most of its positive forces as your culture evolves in the right way.”

Source: Harvard Business Review (2012), by Jon R. Katzenbach, Ilona Steffen, and Caroline Kronley.

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