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Thoughts on Changing the Culture of the Company

One of the impacts of the current economic situation is thatconditions are making people believe that when we really emerge from what is going on, things will be much different than they were. More and more we hear business owners talk about the need to change the culture of their company.

In listening to business owners list strategies they have deployed to help change the culture of their companies, particularly after a merger with another firm, three themes emerge:

First, you can”t simply order people to change. Instead you must create an environment where they understand what changes need to be made and why they need to be made. And then they either “own ” those changes or move on. This indirect approach may take longer but it works. 

Second, have an event or a series of them where the group shares an experience in doing something together that few or none of them are particularly good at. (Eric Miller at Smart Performance Strategies, LLC would recommend an indoor rock climbing exercise at Earth Treks.) These experiences can break down barriers and set the stage for the third theme: interdependence and trust.

Working together to solve problems that all agree need to be solved can move entire organizations forward. But the key to all this is to have executive management be in the mode of creating environments that foster change rather than simply ordering those changes.