Creating the culture you want and need is no longer an option. It is a business necessity – Connors and Smith.
Signs of a Lack of Alignment
• People remain silent and don’t voice their opinion when you call for a decision.
• You keep being surprised by the actions people take because they are inconsistent
with the agreed-upon direction.
• You don’t see tangible progress on an issue when by all rights you should be
moving forward throughout the organization.
• In meetings, people keep bringing up issues that you thought were resolved.
• People complain, make excuses and blame others for lack of progress.
• You observe a lack of ownership and enthusiasm for implementing a course of action
that has been set.
• People state that they disagree with decision or a direction that has already been
What needs to be done?
The first critical step toward change is to realize the need for change. Once the Executive Team acknowledged the significant problems facing the organization, Karen Meyer-Cain worked closely with the group, facilitating the discussion about employee satisfaction. The second critical step toward change is buy-in. The Executive Team agreed on a number of new programs that would reward associates for their accomplishments and would, in turn, reinforce employee behaviors that were supportive of the company’s mission and business goals. The third critical step is the creation of a goal. The Executive Team agreed to build a culture that provided and rewarded challenging work leading to personal accomplishments, business success and work/life balance, versus simply hard work, long hours and personal sacrifice.
The Eight-Stage Process of Creating Major Change
1.ESTABLISHING A SENSE OF URGENCY
•Examining the market and competitive realities
•Identifying and discussing crises, potential crises or major opportunities
2.CREATING THE GUIDING COALITION
•Putting together a group with enough power to lead the change
•Getting the group to work together as a team
3.DEVELOPING A VISION AND STRATEGY
•Creating a vision to help direct the change effort
•Developing strategies for achieving that vision
4.COMMUNICATING THE CHANGE VISION
•Using every vehicle possible to constantly communicate the new vision and strategies
•Having the guiding coalition role model the behavior expected of employees
5. EMPOWERING BROAD-BASED ACTION
•Getting rid of obstacles
•Changing systems or structures that undermine the change vision
•Encouraging risk-taking and nontraditional ideas, activities and actions
6. GENERATING SHORT-TERM WINS
•Planning for visible improvements in performance, or “wins”
•Creating those wins
•Visibly recognizing and rewarding people who made wins possible
7. CONSOLIDATING GAINS AND PRODUCING MORE CHANGE
•Using increased credibility to change all systems, structures and policies that
don’t fit together and don’t fit the transformation vision
•Hiring, promoting and developing people who can implement the change vision
•Reinvigorating the process with new projects, themes and change agents
8. INSTITUTIONALIZING NEW APPROACHES IN THE CULTURE
•Creating better performance through customer- and productivity-oriented
behavior, more and better leadership, and more effective management
•Articulating the connections between new behaviors and organizational success
•Developing means to ensure leadership development and succession
Source: Leading change, by J. P. Ko t t e r, 1996, Boston: Harvard Business School Press.