The Role of Organizational Culture in Change Management

Let Your Values Direct Your Transition Journey

A company’s culture is its DNA. It defines the relationship between its employees, customers, partners, and shareholders. It also defines who the company is, what it stands for, and how it should operate.

To be successful, corporations need to have an organizational culture that is both healthy and supportive and to understand the relationship between corporate culture and change management. In this way, the company will be better prepared for change as it inevitably arises.

What is organizational culture?

Organizational culture is the set of values, beliefs, and norms that characterize an organization. It influences behavior within the company, at division, team, and individual levels.

Organizational culture affects people’s behaviors in different ways. For instance, some cultures encourage innovation and creativity while others are more rigid and helpful for routine work (such as manufacturing or accounting).

The importance of cultural change in an organization

The most successful change management programs are those that have the buy-in of all employees.

The best way to ensure success in change management is to establish clear organizational objectives for the changes that are being made. This makes it easier for the workforce to understand what is happening and make sense of it. It also creates consistency across the organization and builds trust in leadership’s capability to move ahead with these changes.

This leads us to another important point – fostering an environment in which employees feel safe and valued enough to speak up when they notice something amiss and offer their input about what needs improvement. This would not only lead to a more positive change experience but also create a more cohesive workforce that will be able to innovate together as well as share their ideas for improvement.

Organizations must build a culture of change to encourage employees to embrace change and utilize the resources available. Cultural values might include things like teamwork, recognition, innovation, and respect. If these values align with the change being introduced, then there is a better chance of it being successful. Why? Because when change is aligned with your culture, it is seen as authentic and in step with what your organization stands for – its purpose, values, and beliefs.

How to make your organization a change friendly place

The first step to becoming an organization that embraces change is by adjusting to new challenges. This can be done through continuous learning and seeking out new ideas from external sources. For an organization to successfully adjust, it must be flexible and willing to experiment.

The next step in making your company a change-friendly place is by fostering a culture of respect and support where your employees feel safe enough to speak up about their thoughts, ideas, and concerns. 

Creating a culture that supports change also means being open-minded about different viewpoints while remaining empathetic with other people.

It is also important to have a plan for change that is communicated openly and transparently. This ensures that all employees know what is happening when it’s happening, why it’s happening, and how they can participate in its success.

Create an environment where employees are not afraid of making mistakes. This will encourage them to try new things. 

Also, ensure that your leaders and managers embrace change. Change can be exciting and rewarding, so show enthusiasm. 

You also need to understand and manage expectations. People have different reactions to change depending on what they expect or think about it.

Finally, recognize success by celebrating small victories. Every achievement, no matter how small, should be acknowledged and celebrated. 

Lack of authenticity is a barrier to sustainable change

Many organizations fail to change because of a lack of authenticity. They try to be all things to everyone, and thus can’t maintain their values or core mission. This often leads to confusion, frustration, and ultimately abandonment by the stakeholders of change.

A company’s values must be the driving force behind decisions about change for it to be sustainable. If the change you make does not reflect your values, the change will not last the test of time. Everything you do must reflect your values throughout your change journey to make an authentic change.

The value of the culture-driven change management approach

To keep up with the pace of change and the ever-evolving marketplace, companies must constantly adapt to new norms and shifting business models. New approaches are often needed to drive these changes successfully.

The culture-driven change management approach is an important tool for any organization. It acknowledges that there are already values in place and seeks to integrate them into the new vision. It helps to create a sense of belonging by creating a community for employees and empowering them to have input in the change process. 

It is this strategy of providing empowerment under the umbrella of a collective purpose that gives the culture-driven change management approach its strength.

Your corporate culture can be the game-changer. To learn how our Leadership Circle™ Impact Program delivers the skills your organization needs to deliver impactful and sustainable change, click here.

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