In the past decade, the statistical success for change initiatives has only been 25%. Much as they want realignments, reengineering, retooling, and restructuring strategies to succeed and much energy, resources and efforts have already been exerted, these prove to only succeed a quarter of a time. Why, you ask?
The failure is due to the leaders’ inability to own up to their actions and wrong decisions. Instead, they play the blame game by pointing towards faulty structures, systems and processes for their organizational problems. They don’t really make a conscious effort to focus on the things that they can try to fix.
Yet the most grueling reason why these change initiatives fail is because of one area that many try to hone and master, but only few succeed. And this is the all important culture of a company.
It’s highly essential to inspect the leader’s readiness in employing a cultural shift, because he himself must be subjected to this change. In simpler terms, how can you expect to discipline your child if you yourself lack the self-control to withhold from certain negative behavior?
Without a deeper and more subtle change in corporate culture and in how leaders visualize, perceive, and analyze, organizational and operational change won’t work. You have to flush out those deep-seeded and toxic beliefs, traditions, and practices that have been deeply ingrained in the company’s system.
This is in fact why change leadership is what genuinely transforms organizational culture and drives profit, rather than far management skills or business aptitude.
To successfully change a business and employ a healthy company culture, a company must revisit these three requirements:
Complete Engagement of the Executive Team
Remember, the senior, executive management shouldn’t just be figureheads. They are the true drivers of the vision and implementers of change. Everyone will follow suit once they set the right, honest example.
Calling a town hall meeting or coming up with awesome slogans won’t be enough. The senior leaders should be seen and felt to be doing these change initiatives, spearheading the way towards the culture shift for a healthier organization.
Be sure that when you aim for culture change, go all in! Because a superficial culture shift will wreak more havoc than not trying to do anything in the first place. You wouldn’t want to lose the trust of your people, your workforce. So if you want to implement change, as senior managers and executive officers, you better be in the frontlines.
Deeply Value Leadership Development
The key people in the organization should recognize and support the vitality of harnessing both the individual and organizational leadership capacity.
Self-leadership, or the ability to lead oneself is a crucial skill to hone because the intrinsic qualities of a person is what builds his external skills.
Most of the time, there is a wide gap between a company’s vision and the actual capacity and experience of its workforce. This is why it is important to zoom in first on individual learning, then be able to create a shared, new view of leadership development.
This will now pave the way for your workforce to be more comfortable with learning, providing feedback, accepting and embracing constructive criticism, and applying all learnings, which will then pave the way towards successful leadership.
Top Management Must Embrace Flexibility
For culture change to be effective and authentic, the top honchos must accept that they need to work across boundaries. There will be a lot of work involved, and change leadership requires cross functionalities, working with other units and external stakeholders.
The senior management must recognize that collaboration is key, and removing all that bureaucracy and red tape in the operations will speed up a healthy culture shift.
This is proven to be a challenge, because companies have been trained to compartmentalize work in order to facilitate proper work delineation. But in the case of culture change, this can be foregone in order to foster a cooperative, communal environment.
To remain responsive to client’s needs and to be competitive, the company’s culture must change. And the primal step to this is identifying all the moving parts, knots and bolts and where they belong in the organization.