You can’t transform with technology alone. You need a culture that supports business agility if you want to transform, grow, and scale at pace. Company culture is important for employee engagement, affecting their productivity and performance, and for brand reputation. If the current culture isn’t right, then leading a cultural change to support transformation is crucial.

Change behaviours

If you want to lead culture change you need to work backwards. You need to think about the behaviours that exist in the current culture and identify what behaviours support your future vision. That’s not a quick process. Identifying which behaviours need to go and what new behaviours need to be introduced is not an overnight process.

People don’t change their behaviour at the flick of a switch. Often people are scared of change and prefer to stick with the familiar – the tried and tested. They may have had a bad experience of change that was not managed well and they fear a repeat of failure. Nobody likes to fail – it’s not a good experience for anyone.

Create new meaning

To get people to change their behaviour you need to give them an incentive that means something to them. The change has to make sense and provide some sort of value to them. Something they can get behind with passion and determination.

Management by objectives and KPIs may mean something to the CEO and Executive suite but that doesn’t mean a lot to the people on the ground, your team. They are not likely to want to invest themselves in the change process if it doesn’t mean enough to them. You need to create a new meaning for them by building a new narrative.

Develop a new narrative

This is where treating your team as individuals and not just a number becomes significant. You need to build a narrative with clear messaging that they can buy into. They need a story to follow and one that clearly conveys their role in the story. A story that invites and encourages them to join you on your journey.

Give them a narrative that allows them to imagine the future organisation and what it will mean for them personally. It’s important to not just dictate the new narrative. Talk to your people and build it with your team because if they are involved it will mean so much more to them.

Infographic showing what you need to change. If you want to change the existing culture, change the behaviour. To change the Behaviour create a new meaning. to embed the new meaning develop new new narratives. Cultural change to support transformation.

Cultural change to support transformation

Changing culture might be more necessary than you think if you want to transform and grow.  You might be thinking, “hang on we’ve got a great culture right now”, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right fit for your vision of the future. When you transform or need to grow rapidly, you hit transition points and more complexity. So, evaluate whether your current culture can support that growth and if not change it.

Transforming for the future

Don’t underestimate culture in your business transformation, it’s a really important critical success factor. Transformation is often seen as one time big technology upgrade programme but in reality it’s about putting your entire business in a position to be agile and quick enough to react, develop and keep growing. The transformation process can be painful but with the right culture in place, it will be easier.

Talk to us

If you have questions on the ‘how to ‘ part, we can help. We’re experienced at transformation and we’ve got people to help you with strategy right through to execution. Check out our team of experienced transformation leaders and see who we’ve helped.

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This blog was taken from a DWG article first published on LinkedIn.

Andrew Salmon