Even the best business strategy will fall short without a sound plan for implementation and flawless execution. A key driver of predictable, repeatable performance and growth is a world class organizational structure and a positive, supportive workplace culture. While this a commonly held belief among business leaders, why do so many struggle to get this right?
The need for culture change can be triggered by an unfortunate event (loss of a key account, valued employees expressing dissatisfaction and/or leaving for something better, etc.). The process of culture change (and it is a process, not an event), can seem overwhelming for those seeking a “quick fix”. Tactical approaches may yield short-term improvements, but they fall far short of building the kind of sustainable high-performance culture that differentiates the organization from the competition and makes strategic and tactical plans come to life.
The most effective way to improve operating culture is to plan for it, not as a separate, isolated effort but as an integrated part of the strategic plan. And while key performance indicators will include short-term outcomes, sustainable success will be found over an extended period-of-time.
It comes down to three critical success factors: Confidence in the process, trust in the people and the patience to see it through. There may be times of frustration and even dissatisfaction with the pace of progress of your culture change plan. Evaluate, make adjustment as needed but stay with it! Doing so will go a long way toward demonstrating leadership’s commitment to change and will avoid the cynicism that comes from yet another “flavor of the month” program that is tossed aside at the first sign of a misstep.
For more information on building a stronger culture in your organization, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.