In many instances (actually most or all) this involves “culture change”. We have all heard the saying – “change is hard” and it can be if we do not introduce a strong enough reason as to why it needs to change.
Company culture (good or bad) is a result of many things. Some examples are below:
* The beliefs reinforced by the owner/ management staff
* The values, attitudes and beliefs of the individual employees/ team
* The experiences/ training/ beliefs/ of the employees and management
Culture usually develops over a period of time within a group or organization. In many instances the longer an organization has been in business or the longer an employee has been employed at a company the more difficult it is to permanently change the existing culture. It is not impossible, but can be difficult.
There a number of steps that should be taken when a culture change initiative is being undertaken. These are outlined below:
1) Determine why the current culture is the way that it is (behavior is caused and so is culture. There is some sort of “payoff” or else it would not be maintained.
2) Know exactly what the desired culture is. If you don’t know where you want to go, you will never get there.
3) Create a strong enough reason as to why change is needed. This could be the loss of critical business, competition, sales decline, pending closure or bankruptcy, etc… If there is a stong enough “why”, the how becomes simple.
4) build your team of “cheerleaders” that will aid in the change and will act as peer pressure to get the change implemented. Sometimes a small-scale (bell weather) project helps in gaining this support team.
5) Use teams/ team building. Anything that involves multiple departments is served well to use teams to help reduce resistance.
6) Management needs to reinforce and “walk the talk”
7) Provide the necessary training, education and competency to make the change. This includes the technical as well as the “soft skills”.