Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Critical Few: Components of a Truly Effective Culture
Forget the monolithic change management programs and focus on the elements of your culture that drive performance
by Jon Katzenbach, Rutger von Post, and James Thomas

Simple but very powerful. I strongly suggest you read the full article

 ….if you get these three critical elements in sync, your culture’s positive impact will be felt on the bottom line much sooner than you might expect:
Identify the Critical Behaviors
Pinpointing a few critical behaviors is priority number one. Once the behaviors that embody the cultural priorities that a company seeks are identified, clarified, and supported widely, you can focus on harnessing them to strengthen and modify the existing culture. But even while we focus first on the critical behaviors, you will see just how interwoven the elements of the critical few are.
Honor the Existing Culture
Your organization may have many admirable cultural traits, but you need to focus on those three or four traits that are distinctively clear, wisely profound, emotionally powerful, and widely recognized. If you go mining for more, not only will you hit rapidly diminishing returns, but you will also make even the strongest traits seem somehow tenuous, and the entire process will lose credibility.
Focus on the Critical Informal Leaders
You’ve picked the behaviors you need to change or energize. You understand which facets of your existing culture can help spread the new behaviors you are seeking. Now, focus your efforts on a critical few groups and specific people within the organization who can help bring this transformation about and make it last.
Second Those Emotions
As you work to put the critical few into practice in your own organization, remember to focus on integrating emotional support. It is particularly important to avoid the trap of relying too heavily on conventional approaches to culture change and change management: programmatic consistency, process rigor, engagement tracking, and so on. Neither should you get too caught up in focusing on rational arguments and shared values, relying on hierarchical channels, and motivating through “stretch targets.”

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