31 Jul Culture In Corporates
How often have you heard an individual, be it a new CEO or your friendly colleague talk about the pressing need to change the work culture? The urgency to cut out the negativity that hampers growth and progress is increasing by the hour. With arms wide open, they want to embrace a different approach, starting now. These culture critiques are as common as people bickering about the weather. How often are they successful in bringing a change in the mindsets of people? And do you see long-lasting improvements?
We won’t be surprised if you say “Once in a while’’. A quick & discount culture change is almost next to impossible or even desirable. At the end of the day, an organization’s culture is defined by its people, their interactions and the ease with which transactions take place. Having said that, let’s not ignore that it survives and evolves through gradual shifts in leadership, strategy and other external factors. The simplest way to define culture would be that it is a self-sustaining pattern of behavior that determines how things are done.
Culture can be construed in different ways. Organizations are constantly evolving through the process of self-evaluation and introspection. Thoughts, feelings & beliefs of an employee is directly reflected through their workings which in turn shapes the functions of the organization. Formal endeavors to change a culture only from time to time helps figure out how to get to the core of what stimulates individuals, what influences them to stick with the organization. Plastering walls with new values & beliefs will be as good as painting your old car a new color & believing it to function better.
This innate complexity should not hinder the management from trying to change the mindset of the employees. If you cannot replace the entire machine, work on realigning some of the more useful cogs. Need of the hour is to make use of what you can to change the most of your current culture.
And now you are wondering why put in the effort to change culture when it feels like moving mountains? Because a great organization always has facets of knowledge, be it explicit or implicit. Knowledge is human beings’ understanding about the realities through mental correspondence, personal experience and emotional affection with outside objects and situations. And top management who learn to adopt, adapt & acclimatize to energies around them, grow & gain competitive advantage in a rapid manner.
The first step towards this positive change would be to ask yourself what defines your employees, what changes in behavior would result in a change in mind-set and who are the genuine informal leaders among your clan. Be aware that, it takes time to get rid of a bad habit and it takes longer to replace it with a good one. Patience & perseverance is key.
Let the new culture evolve. One step at a time regardless of how fast your competitors are moving. Don’t let that frighten you or throw you off-track. Approach this new chapter with patience and intelligence and use it to rise above your competition. And if you’re wondering when to begin, it is now.