CEOs as Culture Changers
When it comes to structure or culture,
culture will always win.
– Dr. Joyce Z. Wazirali –
6 points of attention for cultural change
1. Changing culture is human work
Experience shows that the involvement of those with ultimate responsibility is important for the success of culture change processes. That is why I supervise these processes on the condition that the CEO is also part of the process. Those who were open to a deep (personal) change became my customers. As a result, the CEO and culture changed sustainably.
2. Culture is not the same as structure
I see many organizations struggling with advisors. They aim to work by leading the owner to change on the structure of the organization. For example, by changing from hierarchical model, (top down management) to a flat organization (co-creation). Leading the change process with more rules and regulations towards the staff members.
3. More rules means more chaos
What happens tend to be chaos and imbalance. Staff members gets confused, burned-out, sick or they resign. Make more mistakes, and lose their common focus, aim and energy. They lose the connection with each other and with the clients. And become lost in the jungle of rules and regulations. Clients who were used to connecting with the staff members who have left the organization feel less or no connection with the organization. As a result, a decrease in the customer base occurs.
For me it’s predictable that those things happen after changing the structure of the organization. To create a new culture the people, including the CEO are the most important aspect. If they start to connect in a genuine way with themselves and each other and transform, the culture will change.
4. Culture consists a complex of factors and patterns
The people in an organization are not only part of the culture, they are also the co-creators of the culture. Even if an employee has left the company! He or she left a blueprint in the collective memory of the company. Just like the events in the history of the organization. In addition, people take their past, present and future to work and project it unconsciously onto each other. In my book Unity Conscious Leadership® more explanation is given with theory and practical examples.
5. System dynamics is hard to grasp; that’s why expertise is required
This complex dynamic influences the culture in the here and now. What is felt and experienced as “undercurrent”, “old pain” and repetitive patterns. As;
– People who cannot find their place,
– Functions that are difficult to fill,
– High absenteeism and staff turnover,
– Tension and struggle between employees or departments,
– loss of potential,
– Always the same mistakes,
– Rising costs,
– Decreasing profit.
6. Triggers are growth opportunities
By using “obstacles as a springboard for growth” and “tension as a motor for organizational or team development”, culture can change. As a result, the potential of the employees will grow. Can you imagine how the culture will flourish if everyone is allowed to use their potential?
Other culture changers are
– Directors and managers
– Board members
– Supervisors and Commissioners
– Cooperation partners
– Officials and Politicians
– World leaders
Experience shows that the key role lies with the CEOs as culture changers. Since 1988 I have successfully guided many customers. In addition to tailor-made guidance, they have learned to observe how they create their own world and what they can do to change their world.
All answers and keys to solutions are already in everyone. The trick is to find them.
Dr. Joyce Z. Wazirali
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