How to change a company’s culture fast?
Every great journey, every great achievement, begins with a single step. Every culture change begins with a behaviour change of its leaders.
All it takes is sometimes one behaviour of one top leader.
Because the leader influences others mostly by modelling, the change spreads even with no explicit communication about what she/he expects of others. The mirror neurons do their job in silence, in the subconscious.
Changing one key behaviour of the top leader is often all it takes to instil a belief in people that change is possible; all it takes to create the momentum for the change of the whole company. However, it must be real, it must be authentic, and it must be consistent. Superficial changes always fail.
The one new behaviour, be it: presence, acknowledging others or listening, can create a surprising avalanche of change. This is confirmed by the most respected executive coaches in the world, such as Marshall Goldsmith, and others.
It is also confirmed by my experience with coaching executives. One of my clients has changed his whole team by changing one thing about himself – namely the awareness of his stress level. With this new skill, he lowered his own frustration, noticed his impact on others and found ways to lead the team in a much more positive way. The effect – the whole department improved in the atmosphere, the attitude (reduced conflicts) and achieved significantly better results – what led to their best evaluation since the team inception.
So, how to change a company’s culture fast? Don’t start by trying to change everyone at the same time!
Focus on the top leaders. Focus on the behavioural change of these leaders.
Help them choose one key behaviour change that will likely make the difference. Form a group of leaders who will support and provide feedback to each other.
Hire an effective behavioural change coach to lead the whole process. Allow the leaders to learn from their mistakes and from each other.
Create structures to support the new habits and a systematic follow-up. Are you prepared to change one thing in yourself to help the whole company?
Which key behaviour will you start changing today? How can you help your boss understand this and commit to change?
Change a single behaviour and you may find that the whole world has changed.
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi
I wish you all the best in transforming you and your world. If you have any questions or comments, please do contact me.
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You may wonder about the picture above. While travelling Georgia, we came across these boys playing ball. We decided to play with them – it was fun! and I am grateful they embraced another culture so easily. Kids know how – with a smile 🙂