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Changing Your Organization

Changing Your Organization

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Published by sadik953
This article is about organizational change...
This article is about organizational change...

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Published by: sadik953 on Aug 18, 2010
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Changing your organizational culture is the toughest task you will ever take on. Your organizational culture was formed over years of interaction between the participants in the organization.Changing the accepted organizational culturecan feel like
 
rolling rocks uphill.Organizational cultures form for a reason. Perhaps the current organizational culture matches the style and comfort zone of the company founder. Culture frequently echoes the prevailing management style. Since managers tend to hire people justlike themselves, the established organizational culture is reinforced by new hires.Organizational culture grows over time. People are comfortable with the current organizational culture. For people toconsider culture change, usually a significant event must occur. An event that rocks their world such as flirting with bankruptcy, a significant loss of sales and customers, or losing a million dollars, might get people's attention.Even then, to recognize that the organizational culture is the culprit and to take steps to change it, is a tough journey. In noway do I mean to trivialize the difficulty of the experience of organizational culture change by summarizing it in this article, but here are my best ideas about culture change that can help your organization grow and transform.When people in an organization realize and recognize that their current organizational culture needs to transform to supportthe organization's success and progress, change can occur. But change is not pretty and change is not easy.The good news? Organizational culture change is possible. Culture change requires understanding, commitment, and tools.
Steps in Organizational Culture Change
There are three major steps involved in changing an organization's culture.1.
 
M
y earlier article discusses
 How to Understand Your Current Culture
. Before an organization can change its culture, itmust first understand the current culture, or the way things are now. Do take the time to pursue the activities in thisarticle before moving on to the next steps.2.
 
Once you understand your current organizational culture, your organization must thendecide where it wants to go,
 
define its strategic direction, and decide what the organizational culture should look like to support success. What
 
vision does the organization have for its future and how must the culture change to support the accomplishment of thatvision?3.
 
Finally, the individuals in the organization must decide to change their behavior to create the desired organizationalculture. This is the hardest step in culture change.
P
lan the Desired Organizational CultureThe organization must plan where it wants to go
before trying to make any changes in the organizational culture. With aclear picture of where the organization is currently, the organization can plan where it wants to be next.
Mission, vision, and values:
to provide a framework for the assessment and evaluation of the current organizational culture,your organization needs to develop a picture of its desired future. What does the organization want to create for the
 
future?
M
ission, vision, and valuesshould be examined for both the strategic and the value based components of the
 
organization. Your management team needs to answer questions such as:
 
y
 
What are the five most important values you would like to see represented in your organizational culture?
y
 
Are these values compatible with your current organizational culture? Do they exist now? If not, why not? If they are soimportant, why are you not attaining these values?Take a look at the rest of the actions you need to take tochange your organizational culture.
 
y
 
W
hat needs to happen to create the culture desired by the organization?
You cannot change the organizationalculture without knowing where your organization wants to be or what elements of the current organizational culture needto change. What cultural elements support the success of your organization, or not? As an example, your team decides
 
that you spend too much time agreeing with each other rather than challenging the forecasts and assumptions of fellowteam members, that typically have been incorrect.In a second example, your key management team members, who must lead the company, spend most of their time team building with various members of the team on an individual basis, and to promote individual agendas, to the detriment of the cohesive functioning of the whole group. Third, your company employees appear to make a decision, but, in truth,are waiting for the "blessing" from the company owner or founder to actually move forward with the plan.In each of these situations, components of the organizational culture will keep your organization from moving forwardwith the success you deserve. You need to consciously identify the cultural impediments and decide to change them.However, knowing what the desired organizational culture looks like is not enough. Organizations must create plans toensure that the desired organizational culture becomes a reality.
Change the Organizational Culture
It is more difficult to change the culture of an existing organization than to create a culture in a brand new organization.
 
When an organizational culture is already established, people must unlearn the old values, assumptions, and behaviors beforethey can learn the new ones.The two most important elements for creating organizational cultural change are executive support and training.
y
 
Ex
ecutive support:
Executives in the organization must support the cultural change, and in ways beyond verbal support.They mustshow behavioral supportfor the cultural change. Executives must lead the change by changing their own
 
 behaviors. It is extremely important for executives to consistently support the change.
y
 
Training:
Culture change depends on behavior change.
M
embers of the organization must clearly understand what isexpected of them, and must know how to actually do the new behaviors, once they have been defined. Training can bevery useful in both communicating expectations and teaching new behaviors.
Additional
W
ays to Change the Organizational Culture
Other components important in changing the culture of an organization are:
y
 
Create value and belief statements:
use employee focus groups, by department, to put the mission, vision, and valuesinto words that state their impact on each employee's job. For one job, the employee stated: "I live the value of quality patient care by listening attentively whenever a patient speaks." This exercise gives all employees a commonunderstanding of the desired culture that actually reflects the actions they must commit to on their jobs.
y
 
P
ractice effective communication:
keeping all employees informed about the organizational culture change processensures commitment and success. Telling employees what is expected of them is critical for effective organizationalculture change.
y
 
eview organizational structure:
changing the physical structure of the company to align it with the desiredorganizational culture may be necessary. As an example, in a small company, four distinct business units competing for  product, customers, and internal support resources, may not support the creation of an effective organizational culture.These units are unlikely to align to support the overall success of the business.
y
 
edesign your approach to rewards and recognition:
you will likely need to change the reward system to encouragethe behaviors vital to the desired organizational culture.
y
 
eview all work systems
such asemployee promotions, pay practices, performance management, andemployee
 
selectionto make sure they are aligned with the desired culture. As an example, you cannot just reward individual performance if the requirements of your organizational culture specify team work. An executive's total bonus cannotreward the accomplishment of his department's goals without recognizing the importance of him playing well with
 
otherson the executive team to accomplish your organizational goals.You can change your organizational culture to support the accomplishment of your business goals. Changing theorganizational culture requires time, commitment, planning and proper execution - but it can be done.
 
Take a look at the first steps you need to take tochange your corporate culture.
Resistance to change
Resistance to change is the inevitable consequence when senior management overlook the peoplerelated issues that are crucial to success, but there is a further, closely related, reason and that is to dowith organisational culture.There is no single "golden bullet" that guarantees a successful change initiative, and that overcomes allresistance to change. Dealing with resistance to change is based on a composite understanding of anumber of inter-related factors, including: clarity about what you are doing and why; good leadership;an appropriate change model and methodology; and clear understanding of what is required to translatethe change vision and
strategy
into actionable steps.
Understanding the cultural composition of your organisation
 One often-overlooked yet important dimension of resistance to change lies in a clear understanding of the cultural composition of your organisation.The process that leads to this understanding involves a thorough cultural mapping and analysis focusingon the key questions of "How we look now" and "How we want to look in future". You need to define acultural framework for the organisation that identifies the:(1) Dominant-culture of the company now, how it really is now(2) Espoused-culture - what senior management think (or wish) the culture is - often reflected in socalled "mission statements"(3) Desired-culture - how it will all look after a successful change initiativeBut you need to go deeper than that and specifically, you need to know how to identify and connect withall of the "sub-groups" or sub-cultures in your organisation that will assist or resist the change initiative.These can be categorised as:
"Regressive-subcultures" and "Subversive-subcultures"
 There are sub-cultures that are "regressive" and who show resistance to change, and there are sub-cultures that are "subversive" and who will go beyond mere resistance to change and seek to undermineit.
"Emergent-subcultures" and "Aspirational-subcultures"
 Fortunately, there are other sub-cultures that are "emergent", moving forward and receptive to changebut doing so "unknowingly" (that is without full conscious awareness of the significance of their attitudesand behaviour). These people just naturally and automatically seek to do things in the best waypossible, and they are naturally open-minded about change.Better still tho, there are sub-cultures that are "aspirational" and who embrace change and seek itpositively. These sub-cultures behave knowingly (that is with full conscious awareness of what they aredoing). These are the people who are constantly seeking to "up their game" and who are naturallychange-positive.It is these last two groups who will be key to overcoming resistance to change and who need to anintegral part of what John Kotter refers to as your "coalition for change".For more on this please see:Resistance to Change To learn about out the specifics of the tool and process that will enable you to undertake this detailedcultural and sub-cultural analysis please refer to: ThePractitioners' Masterclasswhich includes a wholemodule specifically on cultural mapping and analysis.Read more:http://www.articlesbase.com/management-articles/resistance-to-change-working-with-

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