The silver bullet of workplace cultures

//The silver bullet of workplace cultures

An article from our Cultural Intelligence newsletter…

It can be argued that the topic of workplace culture has never been hotter. From crises within sporting teams to integrity issues within organisations, so many problems are positioned as ‘cultural’ issues.

That’s brought with it volumes of research and opinion as to what is needed to fix these cultural challenges.

History tells us that the vast majority of these so called ‘solutions’ have limited impact at best.

With these failures to fundamentally impact cultures comes a sense of leadership impotence – where leaders know their culture might not be as good as it could be, while feeling powerless to effect change.

So where is the silver bullet – the sure-fire strategy that is guaranteed to change culture for the better? Of course, there isn’t one. And that’s because, in our view, there are three fundamental principles that must be in place for culture change to gain any traction. Without these principles, most strategies will fail.

These principles are:

  • Culture being seen as a way of living (particularly with regard to leaders) rather than a project to be accomplished
  • Employees having a view that culture is a top three priority of the leadership team
  • Shared ownership of, and commitment to the culture, where it is unacceptable for staff to take a cop-out position when it comes to their workplace culture

Of course, we believe our UGRs (unwritten ground rules) concept can play a major part in securing these three principles and then navigating a path to genuine culture change

Steve Simpson is an international speaker, author and consultant who works with companies across the globe to help them understand and strategically improve their corporate culture www.steve-simpson.com. Professional Speakers Australia recently bestowed the Australian Educator of the Year Award to Steve