How to transform culture in large organisations
Updated: Jan 25, 2019
Thanks in part to the findings of Australia’s Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry, culture assessment and development is high on the corporate agenda. Leaders in all sectors want to understand their employee, manager and customer cultures, the impact of these cultures on the organisation’s overall performance and what they can do to improve.
There’s a useful resource from Barrett Values Centre “Transforming Culture in Larger Organisations” that introduces key concepts and learnings about transforming culture in organisations with more than 1000 people. It includes three international case studies, insightful questions to reflect on and some useful activities that you can apply in your organisation.
Authors Eneroth and Munday make the distinction between culture change and culture transformation and highlight several key factors for success, which are relevant for organisations of any size including:
There is no one “right” or model organisational culture - you have to develop the right culture for your organisation, one that supports your strategic ambitions.
Organisations don’t change; people do. Cultural transformation starts with self-aware and authentic leaders who listen to their people.
What you measure, you can manage – measuring culture over time will enable you to track the impact of initiatives and adjust your course as required.
Developing culture is too important to be left to chance.
Here are some actions you can take to create a high performing culture:
Conduct a culture and values assessment to understand your current culture and desired future culture. Find out what is positively and negatively impacting performance.
Share the results and cultural insights and invite continuous discussion about your culture and values
Prioritise key focus values that embed strengths and address issues that are festering
Define and explore key values and the associated behaviours that you want to reinforce, as well as those you want to actively discourage
Create a culture development plan that will propel your purpose and strategy
Develop the culture change capability of leaders at all levels
Live the values, recognise and reward those attitudes and behaviours that will help grow your desired culture
Continue to measure and track progress and keep everyone accountable
Nudge and nurture your culture in order to transform over time