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Find a career you'll enjoy, become a better leader, improve your relationships, and deepen your self-awareness. Cultural Change can be successful only when you have a good understanding of the difference between the culture you currently have, and the culture you are trying to build. One way that you can achieve this measurement, and therefore understanding of the culture, is to pursue the first two steps in the life cycle of a 'top-down' cultural change programme, shown in the diagram. The audit can be repeated at various stages, most notably at the end, in order to assess the impact of the programme. The most important feature of successful cultural change programmes is the follow-up - but one that is most often left to drift. The behaviours and attitudes in the department often reflect those exhibited in the management team - undertake some management team building and it will have a knock-on effect throughout the whole organisation. Changing people in influential positions can have an effect on the culture - but their personalities and approach need to be 'different' to the existing culture.
A 'bottom up' programme is more pragmatic - trying to change the culture in a few parts of the organisation and hoping it will spread out from there. In the second part of this article, we'll consider the cost and investment made into cultural change programmes. Reviewing and aligning Human Resource strategies to embed the desired culture in all critical strategies associated with attraction, retention, recruitment, talent management, professional development and performance management. QL has worked with diverse industry sectors ranging from engineering, construction, IT, project management, oil and gas, mining, legal and public administration. Shaelyn Amaio discusses a few ways that historic house museums can be as welcoming and fun as they were for their original occupants.
Kevin Valbonesi talks about knowledge, the most valuable resource known to humans and tells you where to find it. Ngaire Blankenberg muses on how cultural institutions can provide an encouraging environment to newcomers and those looking to learn a new language. DisclaimerThe views and opinions expressed by the contributing authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of Lord Cultural Resources and its affiliates or subsidiary companies.
Any reviews or critiques offered on products or services have not been paid for and are the opinion only of their author. Literature review has identified a set of factors that are able to trigger cultural changes. Authors such as Beer (2012), Christopher (2012) and Morgan (2012) agree that changes in top level management can result in changes in organisational culture. Nevertheless, Beer (2012) and Christopher (2012) argue that change at organisational leadership causes changes to organisational culture to a certain extent. The extent of technological developments that have especially accelerated during the last two decades have been found as a major factor causing cultural changes by Maude (2011)  and Davel et al. Walshe and Smith (2011) discuss the issue of technological developments impacting organisational culture within the settings of healthcare organisations in particular. Mergers and acquisitions as triggers of organisational culture have been mentioned by Moran et al.
According to Christopher (2012), the level of effectiveness of organisational leaders play critical role in shaping the impact of mergers and acquisitions in organisational culture. Artist Favianna Rodriguez, who co-founded the immigrant rights organization Culture Strike, reflects on how cultural undercurrents come together to make waves of political change. Art has always been a tool for me to claim space, build power and speak out about the injustices that have shaped my social experience in the United States.
To think about how art shapes politics, we need to look far beyond the next political event to consider how we build up a cultural space. In the political world, we experience the wave’s peak moments through events like elections or policy wins, but we don’t always recognize the undercurrents and conditions that lead us there. The environmental and human rights activist Van Jones has made an excellent graph mapping the political ecosystem. The left side, “action,” often means quantifiable policy changes: a bit more funding here, a higher age limit there. Artists are represented here on the side of ideas, in the “heart space.” Art is uniquely positioned to move people—inspiring them, inciting new questions and provoking curiosity or outrage.
For the last 20 years, because funding for both the arts and social services has been cut, artists who wish to contribute to social change have often been tasked with holding community workshops. As artists, we need to communicate more than what we stand against or why particular policies affect us negatively, because limiting our commentary to such reactions would confine the social imaginary to existing political frameworks and systems that we do not control.
When people claim that “cultural strategy” is just the communication strategy for a political campaign, I disagree wholeheartedly. To give you a sense of the time frame in which cultural shifts happen, and how that eventually translates into policy, look at LGBTQ culture, which finally made its way onto mainstream TV in the 1990s.
Imagine what it would be like if we could have a Laramie Project for immigrant rights, a play about undocumented youth, become popular in high schools. It’s especially critical for us to work together in the wake of the dismantling of support for the arts since the 1980s.
More specifically, we don’t have a robust infrastructure for art committed to social justice, and social-justice organizations are not hiring artists the way they’re hiring organizers. There have been tensions between social-justice spaces and art spaces, too, and that’s understandable; but I think it is important for us to be comfortable with such tensions and take them on in a revolutionary way.
This leads us to the third area: creating cultural policy oriented toward access and equity for artists.
To back up a bit, I am fascinated with understanding how IT vendor and service delivery shops work organizationally.
I feel like less of a failure in stating this, since Google, Verizon and everyone else is essentially saying the same thing. If this is the best I can do today I might as well fill up the kitty pool with KoolAid, invite a single vendor over and have a red moustache party, in order to deal with these problems (insert Cius tablet joke here). I need vendors that are not being driven from product development, focusing only on short-term revenue, but strong CTO architectural driven companies. It will be imperative for vendors to either reposition legacy architects that are not willing to embrace the ‘change agent’ philosophy and bring those who embrace change not just for changes sake, but coherent plans with articulated problems to be solved. All that said I am more optimistic than ever because of consumer championed ‘do it yourself’ (DIY) plays that are sending clear messages that we expect change from the perennials or we find alternatives.
If you would like me to list your tech podcast here please don’t hesitate to ping me. Start Blogging TodayStart blogging, coding, Tweeting, labbing, anything that contributes to the community while improving yourself at the same time. It discusses one of the biggest issues for cultural change programmes - how to ensure the change is real and lasting - and outlines some of the alternative approaches that can be used.
Clear and objective measurement is one common feature of successful cultural change programmes.
It starts with defining in precise terms the culture you are trying to build, which can be used to determine the change you need to make.

In fact, as in many walks of life, measurement is an important key to reducing the risk of failure. Without good follow up, all the effort put into the earlier stages can be lost, and the organisation may revert to its original state, or worse.
That is, you need to achieve a situation where all of management and staff are both able and willing to change.
A very powerful form of measurement is to obtain customer feedback on the service provided - this provides a significant motivation for change across all levels of management and staff.
They also need to be encouraged in bringing a fresh approach, or else it might be their behaviour that changes (by conforming) rather than the culture. But beware - as Caesar first observed, reorganisation can simply be a substitute for achievement.
Having 'a mission' is not good enough - it has to be a 'motivating mission' that inspires people and makes them feel good about coming to work.
Default cultures can often carry legacies from past leadership regimes which are no longer of positive service or include sabotaging beliefs and behaviours about how things need to be done, even if those beliefs are no longer true and the behaviours are outmoded. So a key element of cultural change is to re-define the behavioural competencies of leaders at all levels with the support of a cultural change management consultant.
We touch on a few of Windsor’s stories that tie into Black History Month and that you can explore in-depth at the newly-opened museum.
These factors causing cultural change have been found as leadership change, technological developments, mergers and acquisitions and others. According to Beer (2012), initially, organisational culture is set by the founder of the organisation, but the initial culture set by founders might be subjected to changes due to the impact of a wide range of factors.
Christopher (2012) further reasons that the extent to which organisational culture is subjected to change to due to change in leadership depends on a set of factors such as the difference between the new and old strategy to achieve organisational objectives, personal traits and characteristics of a new leader etc.
Walshe and Smith (2011) argue that emergence of possibility of making online appointments to see practitioners instead of having to call or physically attend healthcare organisations have caused substantial changes in the practices of healthcare organisations with inevitable implications on organisational culture. In other words, Christopher (2012) argues that leaders need to be actively communicating with employees at all levels, as well as, other organisational stakeholders explaining inevitable impact of mergers and acquisitions on organisational culture, and trying to make this impact positive. Growing up in the age of “free trade,” amid an expansion of anti-immigrant policies, led me to develop art about these issues. Jeff Chang, a brilliant hip-hop critic and journalist, and one of my collaborators in co-founding Culture Strike, has encouraged us to imagine a wave when we think about political change. In the world of art and culture, many of us help construct the conditions that lead to this climax. On the left you have action, and on the right, ideas; elites are at the top, and the masses are below. Normally, and especially when we are in campaign mode, we tend to think about what artists can contribute to the action space. While this is important, it also means we move further away from giving artists the space, time and resources to create a body of work. We should also present our vision for who we are, and show why that vision is a positive one. With communication strategy you are still in the action space, meeting the needs of the campaign or reacting to dominant messages in the media.
Ellen DeGeneres came out in 1997, and Will & Grace started broadcasting the following year. How long would it take us to get to a place where migration was viewed as normal and natural, and where we respected the human rights of people who have crossed national borders? Upon taking office, Ronald Reagan aimed to eliminate funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) entirely. Artists who are interested in social justice are left without a pathway, even at art schools or music schools. Collaborations between artists and political organizers have definitely happened throughout history, as we saw so clearly with liberation movements like “Black is Beautiful” or the Chicano arts movement in the 1960s and 1970s, and with the anti-apartheid struggles that peaked in the 1980s with widespread cultural boycotts of South Africa. This is how we will build the infrastructure and networks needed to help socially engaged artists thrive. The gutting of the public sector created a huge commercial sector that dominates art schools and art institutions.
In many ways, artists are seasonal workers; their practice does not bring them a steady workflow. Earlier this year, Level3 blogged about their new initiative of training ~%20 of their 11,000 person staff to be “change agents” in order to cross-pollinate their peers, the notion that change is healthy for the company (speculating). One reason is, I can be fairly risk adverse and I like to convince myself that I take a paycut to stay in research and education (R&E) because the grass is always browner. For my little piece of the world, this involves operations, architecture, administration and management of 70,000 ports, Healthcare, research, academic, statewide SP delivery and a few data centers. All of these needs can be filled and still protect business with the right mix of vision and plan B’s. Call these groups whatever you want but decoupling groups to focus on near term and long term is vital and even more importantly having a strong working relationship not dominated by either party will bring the develop this ‘ecosystem’ we refer to all too often these days with little substance. I believe we are nearing the end of the articulation and business case development phase both as consumers and providers.
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Either way, no one is going to learn for you and you sure as hell don’t want to wait on some poseur middle manager or peer talking a big game at the expense of your career. Without this information, the planning stage cannot be properly focused, and is therefore a bit of a 'stab in the dark'. It can provide an early warning system for when things are not going as planned, enabling management to take appropriate corrective action. It will also build cynicism that makes it difficult for management to implement future programmes.
At the same time, Beer (2012) acknowledges that this argument relates to private sector organisations at a greater extent compared to public sector organisations. Maude (2011) mentions the instances of using mobile phones in public to illustrate the impact of this factor. For nearly a decade, most of my art directly served the immediate, short-term needs of social movement work.
Normally, when we envision a wave, we think about a climactic event, but in order to reach the peak, all kinds of forces—many of which you cannot see—need to come together. Culture is a space where we can introduce ideas, attach emotions to concrete change and win enthusiasm for our values. You may attend a rally or vote, but you also read books, listen to music, engage with visual art, turn on the radio and create your identity through culture. We are not necessarily talking about concrete things here, but rather, a “head space.” Academic institutions and think tanks, which are not always involved in the immediate policy wins, are significant in creating a culture of thought. Artists are immediately channeled into an action space because their contributions are viewed in transactional ways.

Soon after came the Laramie Project, a play about the life of gay college student Matthew Shepard—who was tortured and murdered in 1998—that was performed in high schools across the country. He didn’t get there, but when Republicans gained control of both chambers of Congress in the mid-1990s, right-wing groups like the American Family Association pushed them to decimate NEA funding. Not just 10 or 20 artists, but hundreds, and while they’re young and excited to shape the world around them. Many of us haven’t figured out how to measure the impact we’re having on the world of ideas because we stay in the action space.
So while we think about creative strategies for mobilization, we also have to rebuild the space for artists to engage in public service. How can we conceive of artists’ roles in a more expansive way—not just making posters, but also contributing visionary ideas for social change? Biologists call it homeostasis – the tendency of a system or organism to maintain internal stability. The other and relevant reason, is trying to crystal ball the return from investment in a company. I have no idea how we continue to scale, maintain service delivery and avoid a linear curve straight up in operational and capital cost operating under current architectures.
We talk about commoditization and all of the great business cases, but at the end of the day, who can actually afford to OAM the white box or widget approach to networks without a small army of DevOps behind the scene? As much as I personally proselytize architectural change, can I afford to take the risks with the few options we have today with our stakeholders as the guinea pig? Either that or I will be working at Radio Shack slinging iPhones in 5 years which is probably just as likely.
Specifically, according to Maude (2011) while it was perceived to be a rather rude behaviour to engage in lengthy conversations in mobile phones in public places such as public transport only twenty years ago, nowadays such behaviour is generally perceived to be normal.
Separately, I would spend time developing my own body of work in my studio or collaborating with other artists. Art is where we can change the narrative, because it’s where people can imagine what change looks and feels like. On the inside, there’s big money: elites are throwing millions of dollars into political lobbying. But we should also ask ourselves, “What are the valuable contributions artists can make in the idea space?” Artists don’t think like policy folks. We want artists to be able to work across the spectrum of “action” and “ideas,” because they have the ability to inspire masses of people through their fan bases. Just this past week, TIME magazine published its April edition with a title claiming “Gay Marriage Already Won.” The cover story chronicles how the American public moved from considering marriage equality unthinkable to inevitable in less than 20 years. From a budget hovering between $160 million and $180 million from 1984–1995 (a period during which funding already lagged behind the rate of inflation), Congress brought NEA funding below $100 million in 1996.
Venues like the Los Angeles-based Self Help Graphics & Art, a Latino art center that has united and strengthened a community in need since 1973, are exceptions. We’re not thinking about the kind of transformation that will happen five years from now in someone who, for example, looks at the art of Ramiro Gomez Jr. We need to push anti-migrant policies to the extreme fringes, as LGBTQ rights activists did with anti-gay messages.
How are we developing artist leadership in the field of cultural organizing, which is about merging our social justice practices with our art practices?
If you don’t have papers, the likelihood of your getting public arts funding is pretty much nonexistent. There are many important short-term needs right now, but we need to look beyond immediate concerns and build up all the forces in our movement, until it becomes an unstoppable wave. Fortunately my answer is yes, but in small pockets to prove scale that will ideally permeate out over the next 5-10 years. This ecosystem can bring about improved b2b relationships but healthy vendor, customer ‘partnerships’.
Take the new concept I have been working on, the idea that “migration is beautiful.” It’s very different to say “No on SB 1070” than to say “migration is beautiful,” because the latter message opens up a positive way of seeing migrants, whereas the former statement simply reacts to an immoral law. The injection of gay-friendly content into all aspects of our culture, from TV to high-school curricula and even sports, clearly spoke to our collective imagination.
You’re not expecting to debate the merits of a political message when you listen to music or read a book. Gay-straight alliances are now the norm in high schools, which wasn’t the case 20 years ago. Furthermore, schools focused on art or music haven’t caught up with math and science schools in accepting undocumented youth. If the new Level 3 is going to deliver the next venti coffee of telecom, we need all 11,000 humans in the company – well, most of them, anyway – to be masters at leading, managing and reacting to change. I think the answer is not only yes in the research and education space, but companies like Google, Verizon and many other massive shops are proving that it needs to occur in all verticals. That will require new open frameworks of interoperability and common languages for everyone to melt into dare I use the word innovation. Neither the art-and-culture sector nor the social-justice sector was effectively building models for creative collaboration.
On the outside, we apply tremendous pressure so that our elected officials pass laws that give us power. So when we talk about tomorrow’s cultural policies, we should think about the whole spectrum of activity, from immediate actions to campaigns to ideas, because we need to give artists the space to develop their bodies of work over years. It took decades, but we’ve had major policy wins in the LGBTQ sector: hate crimes legislation in the form of the Matthew Shepard Act, the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the legalization of gay marriage (in a minority of states, for now, with more progress on the horizon).
You’re more open to how culture is going to transform you, so you walk into it with an open heart. What policy changes do we need to make in the national arts infrastructure so that our field can grow, and so that we are respected by both the art world and the social-justice world? The Occupy and immigrant rights movements are forceful players in this outside game, making sure that the inside is moving.
Culture creates a ripe environment for issue-based organizing or “get out the vote” efforts. We can’t necessarily claim that reading a novel or watching a sci-fi movie—say, Alex Rivera’s Sleep Dealer (2008), a dystopian film about migrant labor—will move people to action, but the experience expands our imaginations and creates a climate where we can be visionary. We need to understand timing politically to know when it makes sense for cultural interventions to happen.

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