Three steps to a successful culture change

It is said that change is the only constant in business today. Culture change is a topic much discussed as many companies struggle to get it right. Here´s a shortlist of steps we have gathered to help make the shift and make it stick.

A company’s culture is the personality of a company, the DNA. It not only defines the environment in which we work, it´s what we do, say and how we say it. The culture influences the way we treat each other and defines the way we treat our customers. No wonder it is so important to get right.

A recent SAP survey found that of the companies that started change initiatives in the last year, only 3% managed to successfully complete any.

It easy to fall into the trap of focusing solely on the “why” and the “what” in transitions and not so much on the “how”. As you know, “culture eats strategy for breakfast”. Without defining exactly how you are going to make the change in the organisation and how your employees will determine your success, it will be very difficult to succeed.

If you want to make a change, you need to start with the behaviours. There has to be a shift in the behaviours in order for change to happen. There will be some behaviours you need to do more of, and some you need to do less of.

Here are three easy but effective steps to make the change and make it stick.

1. Clarify the results

Start with the goals for the company and teams. Why change and what do you need in order to change.

2. Define the behaviours that will engender the change

Now that you have defined the scope of expectations, the next step is to align expectations with the behaviours. One of the most important steps when making a change is to provide a clear and actionable path for the change. Show your employees not only what is going to change, but also how you are going to do it.

Then examine what new behaviours and actions will be needed to be successful, and what existing behaviours and actions that will no longer be tolerated.

3. Make it stick

Now you need to implement the new behaviours and start driving the change. True success lies in the follow up, so tracking the progress on developing those new behaviours is key.

Tracking and driving change efficiently requires a good tool, and Gyrate is one option. Our approach is to let the team assess each other on behavioural performance. Doing so on a regular basis helps keeping an everyday focus on the behaviours that will engender the change and grow the desired culture.

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