Want to change your organisational culture? Forget it. Culture is a consequence more than a source.
If you want to address culture, think first of how is culture defined?
- Culture – shared assumptions, values and beliefs that shape action
- Culture – the way we do things around here
- Culture – the unthinking and thinking customs and practices that go on everyday as people get their work done.
The pragmatist philosophers like William James and John Dewey would say that the truth or meaning in an idea lies in its practical consequences. Think of this in terms of this concept called “culture”. How do we know culture exists?
Because of the actions and interactions we see in an organisation everyday.
So if you want to change the culture stop trying to change ‘Culture’ and focus on the everyday ways that people go about getting their work done.
This is not about “radical” change –change that is activated by an extensive culture survey and a series of top down actions to implement the new desired “Culture”.
It is much simpler than this. It is about asking the people who do the work how the work can be done better. It is supporting people to design small incremental and “safe to fail” projects to test their ideas and find better and more effective ways to get the work done.
The consequence of people achieving success through these projects, changes their beliefs and attitudes – and …culture changes. I know…
Margaret Meade said many years ago
“Never forget a small group of committed and thoughtful people can change the world. In fact it is the only thing that ever has”.