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key principles of culture shaping

CEOs and leaders must focus on four key principles to successfully transform organizational culture

Cultures happen by default or design. Leading the culture of the organization is a critical factor in effective execution of your strategy. At best, the corporate culture can be a competitive advantage; at worst, it can be a significant drag on business results. Shifting a culture requires a complete and comprehensive system of change, with an awareness of and a focus on four key principles. They are explained in more detail in this video and below.

Senn Delaney Partner and EVP Bill Parsons  describes four key principles leaders must focus on to successfully transform organizational culture  
 
 


 

 

 

Download article by Senn Delaney Chairman Dr. Larry Senn on the four key principles of shaping culture

 
 Four key principles of success culture transformation 

Purposeful leadership

  • The CEO and senior leadership must own and lead the culture-shaping process.
  • Leaders need to have a clear, compelling purpose for themselves and their organization, coupled with a strong business rationale to inspire a Thriving organizational culture.
  • The process needs to be supported by resources and a systematic execution plan, like any other business strategy.
  • Leaders cast a powerful shadow; therefore, the culture needs to be explicitly defined via values and behaviors and modeled by the senior team.
Personal change 
  • People need to unfreeze existing habits and make personal behavior change. This occurs on an emotional (not intellectual) level, can only develop through insight-based learning, and is best accomplished in natural work teams to shift thinking and reinforce change.
  • People need to understand the purpose/reason for shaping their culture. They need to be clear on the “from and to” of the journey. They need to understand what's in it for them.
Broad engagement with energy, momentum and mass
  • Cultures often resist what they need. Momentum, energy and critical mass are needed to engage all employees. The faster people are engaged in the process, the higher the probability the culture will shift.
  • A broad group of active, visible leaders need to engage all employees, top to bottom, in shaping the desired culture. (Leaders leading leaders.)
Focused sustainability
  • Systematic reinforcement is needed at the individual, team and the organization level.
  • Institutional practices, systems, performance drivers and capabilities need to drive toward the desired culture — including, but not limited to: communication, training, measurement, rewards and reinforcement, performance management and HR practices, and physical layout.
  • Visible application, measureable results with feedback and coaching, rewards and consequences are needed to make the culture real and create accountability.
Culture Drives Performance Image