I spent yesterday thinking about why a change in organisational culture is so hard. But actually the answer to that question is easy – it is because you are asking everyone (or very nearly everyone) in the organisation to change their habits.
Culture is just ‘the way we do things around here’ i.e. the habits that are embedded in the organisation.
Most of us find it incredibly difficult to make one habit change for ourselves – even if it is something we really want. I have been working on joining the 5 O’clock Club – 5 AM that is! I think this was started by Robin Sharma but there are quite a few advocates of it now – even books written about the benefits!
The premise is that by getting up early you can add some quality time to your day. 5am is a great time to get focused on yourself and your life – there is not much else going on! No phones, no emails and mostly not even any daylight. It is tough setting the alarm for 5am and then getting out of bed. But I really want to do this. I have a plan for that extra hour.
Suppose though as an organisation we thought it would be a really good idea if everyone got up at 5am every morning. Can you imagine how hard it would be to make that part of our culture!
So it is with any change – organisational change is really tough. So how do we make it happen.
Well the brilliant book ‘Leading Change’ by John P Kotter has some answers with an 8 stage process.
- Create urgency
- Build the driving team
- Develop a vision and strategy
- Communicate the vision
- Empower employees to action
- Generate some quick wins
- Consolidate gains
- Anchor the gains in the culture
If you are a leader trying to bring about organisational change read this book!