The Leader's Role in Culture Change

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Changing Organization Cultures > Forum > The Leader's Role in Culture Change

The Leader's Role in Culture Change
SAMUEL LUZOBE, Consultant, Uganda, Member
The leadership in most cases craft and engineer the culture change. They need to demonstrate the aspects of the new culture. They begin to own and dispense the new ways. A new culture must be learnt and learning is a process. The leadership enacts the appropriate learning environment through questioning, developing a shared vision and removing barriers to learning.
The leadership style will determine the quality of information and feedback that the leadership receives. If the leadership is proud and hides errors, the staff of an organization will learn to play the camouflage game. In the end they will appear to have changed the culture, but deep inside there will be no change.
 

 
Re. the Roles of Leadership .....
Anthony Belon, Entrepreneur, Malaysia, Member
Leaders are the ones who provide inspiring visions and make strategic directions that are well understood by all participants through "living" and inculcating good values to guide their organisations through cultural transformation.
 

 
The Leadership Role in Cultural Change
ernest agbenohevi, Consultant, Ghana, Member
Any organization is confronted with challenges. The opportunity to deliver successfully has a lot to do with the leadership drive of the organization and that has to do with the policies, beliefs and values of the organization. Thus, the ability of an organization to deliver has to do with its leadership drive.
On the other level, the ability of an organization to deliver, with regard to internal factors is how management is able to manage internal issues - the right attitudes and behaviours - to ensure delivery on the organization's policies at an optimum cost to ensure sustainability of the organization.
 

 
Blockers and Leadership
HERY YANTO THE, STUDENT, United States, Member
Convincing internal blockers of the benefits of change is the most challenging part. Turning them into change agents that are motivated to support the innovation is not impossible. Strong leadership is a key element to figure out a strategy to overcome the blockers and turning them to support the cultural change.
 

 
Changing Forces in Organizational Cultures
Ben Schlussel, Career Consultant, United States, Member
I would submit that a key parameter in defining an organization's culture is "what is/are the driving / controlling forces in that organization that has built that culture. Many organizations are said to be "sales driven". Other organizations are "engineering driven" and yet others are "financially driven". Each of these cause a culture to grow within the organization and often causes adversarial relationships between the drivers and the driven. Changing the existing culture has happened either when existing management has a "revelation" or a new CEO / COO takes the helm and can, in a relatively short period of time "re-orient" the organization.
 

 
5 Requirements of Changing Organizational Culture
Leodegardo M. Pruna, Professor, Philippines, Member
Changing organizational culture requires 5 things:
- A strong leadership
- A problem which can only be solved by culture reorientation/change
- A strategic plan that is
- Understood by the majority in the organization, and
- A rational and systematic implementation of the plan.
 

 
Leaders are the Culture
James Cottle, Cambodia, Member
Although the employees can determine company culture to some extent, my experience points more to the leadership. The staff / employees merely follow and fill in the gaps with their own values or lack thereof.
Someone stated that staff 'stay with a company because of its culture, not in spite of it'.
If you're in leadership and you like the culture YOU created (no matter how toxic it is, then there is no need for change.
But if you're the employee who is working in this toxic culture then the desire for change is high. Many employees do not see other options and cannot leave (or feel that they couldn't) thus they walk through the doors with dread.
So changing a company culture should start with the leaders. What are their values? What atmosphere do they want to create? How do they view the employees? How do they view leadership and their role? If company culture is being called into question look at leadership first.
 

 
Common Mistakes by Leaders in Culture Change
Gandhi Heryanto, Management Consultant, Indonesia, Premium Member
Culture is amorphous and no direct levers exist for shifting it in one direction or another. That's why changing corporate culture is so challenging. Unfortunately many leaders use the wrong tools when trying to spearhead culture change.

A study by research and advisory firm Gartner (surveying more than 7,500 employees and nearly 200 HR leaders at global companies and conducting in-depth interviews with 100 HR leaders), identified 3 common mistakes leaders should avoid to increase their odds of success to transform corporate culture:
  1. Don’t use simple adjectives to describe your culture.
    Because culture feels “squishy” and hard to describe, leaders tend to resort to a generic, overused set of adjectives, like about wanting to create a “culture of innovation” Instead of using a single adjective to describe the culture you aspire to, illustrate it by acknowledging an important tension. The CEO should instead speak to the tension: “We support a culture of innovation while continuing to seek growth and profits from legacy businesses.”
  2. Don’t measure culture with data alone.
    Because culture feels intangible, many companies depend on employee surveys which overrely on measures of employee engagement, turnover rates as an indication of culture and morale. But those numbers can provide false comfort. Gartner suggests that companies should include open-response questions in their surveys and ensure that leaders see some of the raw feedback.
  3. Don’t forget to alter policies to support cultural change.
    To drive change, leaders must align what they say, how they behave, and how their companies operate in terms of processes, budgets, and policies. Those are the part of leadership people often miss—enabling your organization to actually adopt the new culture you seek to have.
Source: Gartner, The Wrong Ways to Strengthen Culture, Harvard Business Review, July–August 2019.
 

     
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