Culture Change

Culture Change means walking the talk: From statements to measurable behaviours


Evolving organisations are looking to recognise the makeup and shifting attitudes of their employees towards outcomes, working conditions, and colleagues, placing organisational culture directly under the spotlight.

Toxic cultures often feature behaviours driven from the top, focusing only on results to the detriment of people. This transactional approach is short-sighted. To counter this, many organisations are investing heavily in defining new organisational cultures. These result in beautifully crafted statements, defining what some may consider to be a utopian outcome.

But words alone will not result in change. The behaviours embedded in cultural statements need to be operationalised. Here are some ideas as to how you can do this:

  1. Look at your statements and consider their behavioural impact. For example, it is great to have a clear ‘curiosity statement’ encouraging people to ask questions and challenge the norm, but how does that align with a hierarchical organisation that is highly process-orientated?
  2. Recognise that you will have to change behaviours – consider the impact of Gilbert’s Behavioural Engineering Model, which highlights that 75% of the drivers for change come from the organisation’s environment, only 25% is driven by the individual.
  3. Translate every statement into the behaviours which show that people are embracing the culture. For instance:
    1. If we want curiosity to be embedded within a diverse and inclusive culture, the statement should be: “Create an authentic and open work environment fostering diversity and inclusivity, open to new conversations and ideas.”
    2. Build a series of behavioural statements that you can use to recognise the extent to which the culture has turned from words to actions, e.g., leadership behaviours such as:
      1. “I am open to anyone voicing any new ideas that might improve the ways in which we do things.”
        I consider a variety of perspectives when making a decision.
      2.  “I encourage the voicing of new ideas that might improve the ways in which we do things.”
        I not only consider a diverse range of perspectives when making a decision, but also encourage others in my team to do so too.
        I provide consistent and honest feedback to my team so that they fully understand their performance in the workplace.
      3. “I seek out new ideas, promoting continuous conversation so that new ideas can come forward from a variety of places.”
        I ensure a diverse range of perspectives are always considered as an integral part of the decision-making process.
        I give consistent feedback in an open dialogue with my team, allowing them to understand their performance, learn how to improve, and be able to potentially question aspects of my evaluation.
      4. “I facilitate and encourage creativity by allowing minor risk when trying new and creative strategies.”
        I ensure that not only are a diverse range of perspectives considered as part of the decision-making progress, but also that everyone strives to be aware of the potential biases that affect their own perspective.
        I not only provide honest feedback to help guide my team, but I also encourage feedback on my own ability as a leader, therefore creating an open dialogue in which fear is removed as a barrier for honest discussion.
    3. Objectively assess current behaviours and map against some behaviours
    4. Use the levers of the environment (Information, Resource, and Incentives) as well as individual levers (Knowledge/Skills, Capacity and Motivation) to drive the change.

Change will come, but only if you operationalise the culture and build a clear change programme.

If you want to know more how the Kompetently™ platform can help you operationalise the change, click here.

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