Through transformational leadership you can impact your company’s culture by cultivating a new perspective on what an organization is.
This shift in perspective of what an organization is can be transformational.
The ordinary view of an organization is consistent with the following definition:
Organization: A social unit or entity of people that is structured and managed to meet a need or to pursue collective goals. (businessdictionary.com)
However, when you are leading a culture change, and aiming for results beyond the ordinary, this definition and view of the organization will not give you sufficient power or access to creating a new culture.
There is another unique perspective that gives both access and power during such change.
When you take the perspective that your company is comprised of a network of numerous conversations, suddenly you see the organizational culture as more malleable, and there is access to transformation.
If you were to take an objective, aerial view of what an organization is, there are usually buildings, offices, logos, computers, phones and people engaged in activities etc.
What is really happening within those buildings and activities?
Essentially, people show up and speak and listen. They share information and insights in emails, meetings with each other and clients, on phone calls, in hallways, sometimes after work for a drink.
All of this speaking and listening comprises a multitude of conversations, which taken together, can be called a network of conversations. When these are effective, the business atmosphere and results will reflect this and performance is high. When they are not effective, performance suffers.
From this perspective the real work of transformational leadership during a culture change is creating, guiding, and managing the effectiveness and impact of conversations.
Taking on this kind of leadership makes a powerful impact on the way your company’s future culture emerges.
Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh, learned this lesson the hard way before Zappos. He points out that at his earlier startup, LinkExchange, he did not attend to the network of conversations through their period of rapid growth. “One of the things that we didn’t know to pay attention to at the time was the company culture,” he told CNBC.
The work of attending to the conversations that comprise your organization’s culture does not simply mean what is ordinarily understood as “corporate communications.”
What it does mean is taking on the effective generation of certain key conversations throughout the organization. These core conversations establish solid and aligned relationships. They open new possibilities and opportunities, and lead to effective, coordinated action, and outstanding results. They give access to fostering the kind of culture you and your colleagues intend
What conversations are key to creating a culture for success?
In our next blog, we will begin to explore some of the key conversations that must be present to provide transformational leadership throughout your company.
What are some of the conversations you know of that have a positive impact on your company’s culture? Which ones are detrimental to the culture?