1) Cognitive – Does everyone understand why the change is necessary?
2) Limited resources – Where will the resources come from?
3) Motivation – Is everyone on board with the change? Do they really want to do it?
4) Institutional politics – Do people withhold ideas because they believe they’ll be shot down or ignored?
To begin changing the culture of an organization, take a similar approach to how you would choose a pilot project for process improvement: visibility and maximum impact. Look for the people who have maximum influence on others and get them on board. These folks are called “connectors” for their natural ability to bring people together and expand their personal circle of influence – they seem to know everyone and are well-respected.
In every process there will be resistance to change, a tendency to keep things the same, or, if change is already taking place, a tendency to backslide into the old ways. Maintaining cultural change requires more than an initial plan; it takes vigilance and a willingness to analyze the problems when things aren’t progressing. Looking at the source of the resistance and addressing it, whether it’s an individual, a process, or the way the company is presented to the public, is a necessary part of perpetuating a new culture.
© 2011 – Rick Pay – All Rights Reserved
Authors: Rick Pay and Paige McKinney