When you take on generating a new corporate culture, individual transformation becomes a powerful access to breakthrough performance.
In the early stages of a cultural transformation, you clearly cannot gain traction without the commitment to a new future and accountability from the top of the organization. This is not new news.
To guide this shift throughout the entire culture requires additional dynamics—the alignment of strategy and culture with individual transformation.
“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” Winston Churchill
Results are a product of action and people are the ones acting—or not. Part of “looking at the results” is paying attention to your people and how they are doing with the changes. What are people saying, how are they seeing it, what kind of actions and results are happening?
For breakthrough performance during culture change, both senior leadership and employees often need to make fundamental shifts in perspective.
During a culture change, people too often speak about culture and strategy as if they were something separate from themselves and from the way they speak and act.
The beginning of individual transformation takes place when people notice and release the perspective that change is being imposed upon them.
Working toward this one basic shift makes it possible to have full engagement, participation, and alignment toward generating a new culture.
When the view that people have no impact or no say shifts to one where they see they can contribute and begin to shape the future culture, amazing things begin to happen. The individual transformation begins to catalyze a cultural shift.
At this point, executives and employees can come together, observing and owning the current culture. This ownership further broadens participation in generating the new future and alignment on strategy within the culture has begun.
The work of individuals transforming during a culture change—can thus have a potent impact on the whole.
What are some of the steps that you can take to reveal your own and your colleagues’ limiting perspectives and open up new possibilities?
- Begin with an honest examination to reveal current hidden assumptions and beliefs about each other, the business, and the culture as it is and release those that are out dated or limiting.
- Engage people in actively participating to generate a new cultural vision at all levels.
- Work to shift the way people view their colleagues, the business environment, the future, and the way things “seem” to be.
With this foundation in place, the broader work of cultural transformation—aligning processes, structures, practices, and ways of doing business— all becomes easier
In this fresh and fertile cultural ground, new ways of thinking and acting can emerge and generate breakthrough performance.
Through their individual transformation, when people are unhooked from the old views and culture, they will be naturally drawn to and inspired by the new future.
What old assumptions and views of your organization’s culture are limiting your actions and results? What might be possible if you and your colleagues could release those?