Are you looking to transform your organization’s culture and produce breakthrough performance?
The first step is to reveal the organization’s current culture.
Distinguishing the specific aspects of your culture allows for a closer look at what actually shapes the quality of experience for your people and customers.
Working with nine facets of the diamond of culture will give you access to your current culture and entry points to transforming it. This approach will allow you to reveal that which is not consistent with your new vision or strategy. You can then adjust the old inconsistent aspects or discard them and to create a new approach.
The first of the nine facets is language and the network of conversations.
This first facet provides the foundation for producing breakthrough performance as you work with each of the other facets
Viewing the various elements of work and culture as existing in language and as a network of conversations provides the insight that you are not stuck with your current culture.
Every culture is actually malleable—comprised of many conversations, assumptions, interactions, and actions all interwoven.
- By being aware of the content of the existing conversations, the tone of them and who is speaking to whom, you can gain direct access to shaping or even transforming the culture.
- Observing and simply listening to the conversations that are present in your organization is invaluable. Simply being aware of what people actually speak about reveals what is consistent with the culture you intend to create and what is not.
One way to get an objective view of the conversations present in your organization is by bringing in skilled outside teams to do interviews with key players. This can objectively reveal the different conversations that are happening around core issues—both those spoken and unspoken.
By simply becoming aware of prevailing conversations you can begin to create the conditions for breakthrough performance.
This begins the transformation.
One company touted a new strategy for success through collaboration. Yet meetings with senior executives revealed that the actual conversations contained deeply ingrained adversarial relationships.
The new strategy was going to be trumped by the current culture unless those existing conversations were transformed.
By becoming aware of the prevailing conversations in an objective way, the team was able to align on new ways of operating in more effective and authentically cooperative ways.
The other eight facets of culture live in the conversations that your people have with each other and with customers and suppliers. Each of these facets gives a unique perspective from which to work to reveal the existing conversations, and transform them where appropriate.
In upcoming posts we will highlight other facets in more detail.
The other eight facets of corporate culture are:
- Customer orientation
- What is actually valued
- Accountability and responsibility
- Traditions, rituals, heroes, legends, and artifacts
- Leadership dynamics
- Unwritten rules for success
- Decision rights and processes
What conversations are you aware of in your company that are consistent with the strategy and vision? Which ones are not?