Excerpts from Cultural Brilliance Radio 9.20.2016

Can we really change culture?

This is a very hotly debated topic within most organizations.

An interesting aspect of corporate culture is when we work for an organization for a while we sometimes forget about the culture we are in. It’s just there. It’s like when you were a kid in your family environment, you most likely didn’t think about whether you were in a family or not. You were just in one and that’s the way it was. Corporate culture is can be exactly like that.

Often when people are new to an organization they can get lost in how to understand the office vibe. Then they catch up with the flow of what is readily accepted and how the company operates as an organization.

The culture if you will.

We are all familiar with those people in a company who have been there for any number of years. They are the encyclopedia of the culture. They are often known as the “go to” peopl as they know all the unspoken norms and the best strategies on how to approach the leaders such as, “we only talk to Jim about certain topics” or “we never bring this up with the CEO” or “we only bring certain things to Linda in this way”. Those are the culturally powerful folks who know all the ins and outs of the workings of the company. A good question is how do we approach these folks? Do they own the trends of the culture? Will they work with change?

New employees tend to merge in to a company’s organizational language and learn what rules to follow and what the set ways of doing things are as time goes by. They watch others and imitate how they approach the rules as guides as they articulate in to the culture without ever really realizing it.

The word “change” can stir up a whirlwind of emotion for everyone in an organization. The challenge is how to manage it.

Some employees will cringe because they’re not great at change. Others will be excited because they’ve known it for a long time that things needed to change and the wheels are finally turning.

For change to begin it is necessary to have a set of conscious and intentional conversations so everyone at the center of the cultural environment understands  what is being done, why it’s being done and then how it’s going to actually get the company where they want to go.

When we look at neuroscience of culture, we really start to understand at a fundamental level that culture does matter because it’s impacting how we think.

What do we see? What do people look like? What are their facial expressions and how do people interact with each other?

What are they saying? What are they talking about? What’s the quality of the conversation? What is not being said? What’s the energy like?

Are we ever going to be comfortable when we hear the word change?

It’s really about putting a plan in place, that’s actually what we call design, which is part of the Cultural Brilliance Model that we’ve consciously and intentionally created. Through the model we get to the heart of how we’re going to put change in place, how we’re going to develop a more innovative culture.

You can listen to the entire podcast by Cultural Brilliance Radio HERE.