How do you go about changing a culture that has accepted and is willing to defend mediocrity? Is it not obvious from the beginning of your new directive that there’s a serious problem with the way the business is being run?
You can call yourself a troubleshooter or a culture change artist or a modern day soldier for hire. But whatever you call yourself you must quickly get the job done by moving the business in a new direction, the right direction. It might mean you’re having to go back to the original direction the founder or founders intended. Sometimes, bit by bit mediocrity just creeps in. We allow systems to become lax and we don’t honor the original core principals.
What has to happen needs to happen fast and the new way forward should remain sticky long after you’re gone. You need some sprightly new navigators to take the changes forward and keep guiding the way.
- Where do you look for problems?
- Where should you begin?
- Is there an attitudinal problem with management or the executive team?
- Is there a force in the middle ranks that is dominating the culture and not allowing new energy and ideas to move onwards and upwards?
When you get to the point where you know change is inevitable and must happen quickly then you might want to consider the 4 roles people play under shifting circumstances.
There are four types of response’s you will face when making changes in your organization and there are nice descriptors for these reactions:
- Victim – Panics
- Critic – Opposes the change
- Bystander – Ignores the change
- Navigator – Is empowered to work with the changing circumstances
Your challenge will be to help as many people as you can to become navigators and those that can’t get there heads around embracing the new way forward will need to be helped through coaching or given a new place to exercise their right to remain stuck in their current mindset which may or may not be in your company or organization.
You must impress upon everyone concerned that your company cannot survive unless the new way forward is embraced. As well, there must be a collective understanding that this new way forward is happening with them or without them and that you would prefer it happens with them and they can become the pioneers of this new process and positive directive.
People are normally excited and productive once they can understand that their company or organization is undergoing an emergency rescue mission and everyone is required to do their part in rescuing the situation and putting it on track for continued success.