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14.05.2014
During a Q&A session this week, after a presentation containing touch points of a future vision, a team member asked me the culture change question. I love the question because it gets at the heart of attitudes, customer service, brand, and leadership within a business.
No one gets up in the morning with a goal to not do their job and not provide service to their customers.
Line-up at the entranceIn 2009, the City of Niagara Falls, in partnership with the Niagara Falls Board of Museums, embarked on a major renovation and capital expansion project for the Lundy’s Lane Historical Museum. War of 1812 ExhibitOur team worked on this project with Moriyama & Teshima Architects who were selected to provide architectural services for the proposed renovation and expansion. The opening was well attended and everyone seemed very enthusiastic about the new building and exhibits. 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. According to 84% of 2,200 global participants in the 2013 culture and change management survey, culture is critically important to business success. From the employee perspective, 44% of those surveyed did not understand the changes that they were being asked to make and 38% did not agree with the changes proposed by the organisation. Leaders often make the case for major change on the sole basis of strategic business objectives such as ‘we will enter new markets’ or ‘we will grow 20% a year for the next three years.’ Such objectives are reasonable but they rarely reach people emotionally in a way that ensures genuine commitment to the cause.
In any major change initiative, it is the job of management and the people affected by the transition to figure out how to harness the strong cultural attributes of their company to build momentum and create lasting change. Persuading people to change their behaviour won’t suffice unless formal elements – such as structure, reward systems, ways of operating, training and development – are redesigned to support them.
Cultural change management plays a vital role in helping an organisation achieve its business objectives. None of the information contained herein constitutes an offer to purchase or sell a financial instrument or to make any investments. Learning about human rights is empowering women to speak out and improve equality in Solomon Islands. In Solomon Islands, with its rich soil, high rainfall and a warm climate, families can grow sufficient food for their needs and sell the leftovers. I found your website because I recently learned of the earthquakes centered around the Solomon Islands. As emphasized throughout this chapter, culture is a product of its foundera€™s values, its history, and collective experiences. Achieving culture change is challenging, and there are many companies that ultimately fail in this mission. For the change effort to be successful, it is important to communicate the need for change to employees. A leadera€™s vision is an important factor that influences how things are done in an organization. Role modeling is the process by which employees modify their own beliefs and behaviors to reflect those of the leader.[396] CEOs can model the behaviors that are expected of employees to change the culture because these behaviors will trickle down to lower-level employees. Well-crafted training programs may be instrumental in bringing about culture change by teaching employees the new norms and behavioral styles. The criteria with which employees are rewarded and punished have a powerful role in determining the cultural values of an organization. Finally, the success of the culture change effort may be increased by developing new rituals, symbols, and stories.
Organizations need to change their culture to respond to changing conditions in the environment, to remain competitive, and to avoid complacency or stagnation. What recommendations would you have for someone considering a major change of culture within their own organization? Like individuals, organisations are creatures of habit with their own personalities and customs. The pace of business today is relentless and organisations must evolve to maintain profitability, increase market share and stay ahead of the competition. Irish economic growth has lead to a phase of constant change, Mindset Ireland is perfectly placed to help business leaders and organisations develop their culture in order to thrive, not just survive, in this rapidly changing environment. But there are many factors which affect our ability, willingness, and desire to deliver superior service.
The project included the restoration of the Museum building (originally the 1874 Stamford Township Hall – designated in 1974 as a place of significance under the Ontario Heritage Act) to stabilize the structure and improve the facilities within the Museum as well as provide access to the City’s nationally important War of 1812 artifact collection. Our Facilities Planning team was involved in the architectural design process—reviewing schematic design drawings, and providing building systems and standards.
There were several special guests, including elected representatives from all three levels of government in 1812-era costume, members of the armed forces, and costumed interpreters depicting 19th century figures and also celebrities with a connection to Niagara—Marilyn Monroe, Superman, John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
A culture that supports strategic and operational goals can fuel performance and inspire innovation and diversity. The findings suggest strong associations between the success of change programmes and whether culture influenced the change process. That’s because an organisation’s culture comprises of an interlocking set of goals, roles, processes, values, communications practices, attitudes and assumptions.


If an employee sees a change as something that opposes the company’s culture, this will make the initiative much harder to implement successfully. People respond to calls to action that engage their hearts, as well as their minds, making them feel as if they’re part of something significant. They have sought to activate a strong personal connection between HP and its employees, by drawing directly on the company’s cultural history and traditions. Done well, this will substantially increase the speed, success, and sustainability of an organisation’s change initiatives. Acknowledging change is required and getting the necessary support to make it happen is the first step. I'm writing to send my appreciation to Miri for her courage and determination in speaking publicly about her concerns for the environment and logging.
One way of doing this is to create a sense of urgency on the part of employees, explaining to them why changing the fundamental way in which business is done is so important.
For example, when Robert Iger took over Disney, to show his commitment to innovation, he personally became involved in the process of game creation, attended summits of developers, and gave feedback to programmers about the games. For example, after the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated on reentry from a February 2003 mission, NASA decided to change its culture to become more safety sensitive and minimize decision-making errors that lead to unsafe behaviors. Switching from a commission-based incentive structure to a straight salary system may be instrumental in bringing about customer focus among sales employees. Continental Airlines is a company that successfully changed its culture to be less bureaucratic and more team-oriented in 1990s. Often ‘the way things are done around here’ is so set in stone it stops the company changing and moving forward as it has to.
One of the roles of executive management is to create the context within which the culture of the organization is built.
The project involved the expansion of the existing Museum building to create a War of 1812 Visitor Centre on the Lundy’s Lane Battlefield and better preserve and interpret the City of Niagara Falls’ unique identity to both residents and visitors. Our Exhibitions & Events team along with Weatherston Bruer worked with Museum staff to develop the interpretive plan, content, and exhibition design of two permanent collection exhibitions—one on the War of 1812 with a focus on events in the Niagara Region, and another on the community history of Niagara Falls.
There is a clear difference between the way companies view culture and the way that they treat it. Through symbolic gestures such as tearing down the fences that surrounded the executive parking lot and moving top executives into cubicles, the company has reinforced the original ‘HP Way’ ethic, in which the quality of the work is as important as one’s position in the hierarchy.
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written. I honor you Miri for showing respect to the men in your family by first asking permission and asking forgiveness for possible offence in speaking out. Unfortunately, many organizations realize that their current culture constitutes a barrier against organizational productivity and performance. In successful culture change efforts, leaders communicate with employees and present a case for culture change as the essential element that will lead the company to eventual success.
Moreover, to implement the change effort quickly and efficiently, a company may find it helpful to remove managers and other powerful employees who are acting as a barrier to change.
The change effort included training programs in team processes and cognitive bias awareness.
Moreover, by rewarding and promoting employees who embrace the companya€™s new values and promoting these employees, organizations can make sure that changes in culture have a lasting effect. One of the first things management did to show employees that they really meant to abolish many of the companya€™s detailed procedures and create a culture of empowerment was to burn the heavy 800-page company policy manual in their parking lot. Next, a change of leaders and other key players may enact change and serve as effective role models of new behavior. Motivation to lead, motivation to follow: The role of the self-regulatory focus in leadership processes.
Shawn Parr of Fast Company describes why Culture Eats Strategy and just how culture is a pillar of an entire organization. In an organization, people will rarely change behaviors if they don’t see, understand, and desire the benefit it will bring.
This Wall Street Journal article discusses a more systematic and incremental approach to change an organizations culture. Many business leaders understand that culture plays an important role in their businesses, but most have difficulty understanding how to use culture to improve performance.
Less than half of participants saw their companies’ effectively managing culture and more than half said a major cultural overhaul was needed. Villagers take this excess to market to earn some cash to acquire items that can’t be produced in the village. I feel humbled to hear of your loving regard for the men in your family and grateful they supported you. Particularly when there is a mismatch between an organizationa€™s values and the demands of its environment, changing the culture becomes the key to the company turnaround. As an example, consider the situation at IBM in 1993 when Lou Gerstner was brought in as CEO and chairman. Because of political reasons, self-interest, or habits, managers may create powerful resistance to change efforts. In contrast, the modeling of inappropriate behavior from the top will lead to the same behavior trickling down to lower levels.


Similarly, when auto repairer Midas felt the need to change its culture to be more committed to customers, they developed a program to train employees to be more familiar with customer emotions and connect better with them. If the company wants to develop a team-oriented culture where employees collaborate with one another, then using individual-based incentives may backfire. I pray that the respectful regard you all hold toward one another will help the needed changes to occur in a peaceful way of personal growth to ensure the forests and environment will be protected for the next seven generations.
After decades of dominating the market for mainframe computers, IBM was rapidly losing market share to competitors, and its efforts to sell personal computersa€”the original PCa€”were seriously undercut by cheaper a€?clones.a€? In the publica€™s estimation, the name IBM had become associated with obsolescence. In such cases, replacing these positions with employees and managers giving visible support to the change effort may increase the likelihood that the change effort succeeds. A recent example to this type of role modeling is the scandal involving Hewlett-Packard board members. Instead, distributing bonuses to intact teams might be more successful in bringing about culture change.
This action symbolized the upcoming changes in the culture and served as a powerful story that circulated among employees.
Gerstner recalls that the crisis IBM was facing became his ally in changing the organizationa€™s culture. For example, when Robert Iger replaced Michael Eisner as CEO of the Walt Disney Company, one of the first things he did was to abolish the central planning unit, which was staffed by people close to ex-CEO Eisner.
In 2006, when board members were suspected of leaking confidential company information to the press, the companya€™s top-level executives hired a team of security experts to find the source of the leak. Another early action was redecorating waiting areas and repainting all their planes, again symbolizing the new order of things.[399] By replacing the old symbols and stories, the new symbols and stories will help enable the culture change and ensure that the new values are communicated.
In comparison to life in Australia, there are a lot of rules governing social behaviour – for example, in how younger people behave with older people and how the sexes interact with each other. The investigators sought the phone records of board members, looking for links to journalists. Successful culture change requires managers that are proficient at all of the P-O-L-C functions. It’s about winning the hearts of the people by showing the value and reaching the heart level. For this purpose, they posed as board members and called phone companies to obtain itemized home phone records of board members and journalists. Women often have little say in decision-making.Some women are very concerned about the consequences of their low status, including their powerlessness in decision-making and the high levels of domestic violence. When the investigatorsa€™ methods came to light, HPa€™s chairman and four other top executives faced criminal and civil charges.
Let’s meet Miri who is working to improve the status of women in Solomon Islands.Forestry and environment protectionMiri has trained as a human rights paralegal (partly funded by Australian Aid) and is very concerned about the logging of rainforests by large international companies. Logging is significantly damaging the environment and benefiting the community very little. In her clan, as is the case across Solomon Islands, it is not acceptable for women to speak in public.
Miri is the best educated in her clan and, because she works in the city, she has greater access to information than the rest of her family in the village.
When a large meeting was organised in her clan’s area to discuss some proposed logging of the rainforest, Miri attended. Miri asked the men for permission to speak and asked their forgiveness for any offence she might cause. Because she showed the men respect, they allowed her to speak.Miri asked the people at the meeting to consider not only themselves and their children but also their grandchildren and their grandchildren’s children. She told them that any money they received from the logging companies would be spent in a very short time. In addition, while the people present might benefit, their grandchildren would blame them for the ruined environment, the erosion and even for their contribution to climate change.Some men who wanted to log were very angry with Miri for speaking. Her father was crying as he told her that he never knew that she was so brave that she could speak in public, and was capable of speaking so convincingly. She had represented the family well.Cultural changeLittle by little women are being permitted to speak in public.
In February 2010 a survey conducted by ANU Enterprise showed that over 80% of the population of Solomon Islands think that there should be more women in parliament. Proposed legislation to reserve a number of seats for women was not enacted before the August 2010 elections.
There is still a long way to go to improve the involvement of women in decision-making.Step-by-step the women of Solomon Islands are showing that they are capable of doing many things that they had previously been excluded from.
Others can see that the culture survives and even thrives with the greater participation of women.



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