CREATE a culture change – Driving organizational culture change

CREATE a culture change – Driving organizational culture change

CREATE a culture change - Driving cultural change

Driving organizational culture change – CREATE a culture change

The hardest part of a business transformation is changing the organizational culture – the mindset and instincts of the people in the company. Organizational culture is like an iceberg, with most of its weight and bulk below the surface.

True culture change means altering the way the organization lives and breathes

An existing culture is based on shared philosophies, ideologies, values, assumptions, beliefs and attitudes. Transforming, sustaining and allowing for evolution of a culture is a complex process requiring a clearly articulated strategic aim, underpinning objectives and long term programme coordination and mobilization of resources.

So, what are the keys to CREATE a cultural change? Cultural change that sticks?

Infographic - CREATE a culture change - Driving organizational culture change

Driving organizational culture change – Changing an organization’s culture


  • Clarify values and organizational culture code
  • Reinforce the vision and purpose – Ensure that everyone in the organization is clear on vision, values, culture code and how those elements lead to success
  • Empower behaviors aligned with values, culture code and vision
  • Align conversations up and down the organization
  • Target effort on high impacts areas
  • Emphasize success, plan for wins, celebrate change

Don’t shortcut the process of cultural change

Organizations may try to shortcut the process of cultural change by:

Organizational culture is slow to build, pervasive and hard to change

  • Changing practices without changing values – Leaders often create new programs or policies without attempting to change the underlying beliefs that guide individual choices. Employees and supervisors who don’t believe in the change will at best not support it, and at worst undermine it.
  • Confusing “espoused” values with underlying values – Leaders often develop and publish new values, but forget to work on changing employees’ beliefs about how the world works. Ignoring what’s below the surface is what will ultimately undermine organizational transformation.

Patience and persistence is required

Any cultural change involves changing the mindset and instincts of each person in the company. This does not happen overnight. So, patience and persistence is required to continue down the path for the one to three years it will often take to realize a full and complete cultural change in your organization.

Culture change is an important ingredient for organizational agility.

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About The Author

Torben Rick

Experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement, development and change management. International experience from management positions in Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.

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