The introduction of the Internet, the information super highway, social media, and digital downloads have changed the way most organizations do business today. Boardroom conversations center around cyber security, electronic records, and password protection. We’ve guarded our organizations against viruses, Trojan Horses, and virtual scams but what have we done to change the culture of our organizations? What steps have we taken to ensure our staff or adapting to all of the mechanical changes that are being made to our hardware and software?
Culture is one of those intangible things that can propel or dismantle your organization from the inside. You can have all of the shiny bells and whistles when it comes to the latest and greatest in equipment but if your staff isn’t excited about using it, it will be for naught. An organization with a fluid, positive culture can succeed with last season’s technology. But an organization with a stagnant, restrictive culture will ruin tomorrow’s possibilities.
The culture of your organization is almost always revealed when some form of widespread change is to be implemented. It may be a change in dress code, operating hours, policy, equipment, or leadership. When the layers are pulled back, organizational culture is what remains. Your culture is part of your company’s DNA structure so when something new or different is introduced, the core of who you are is what shows up.
Is your culture to Control, Compete, Collaborate, or Create? I think we’d all like to believe that we Collaborate and Create at our core, but the truth is that most organizations fall into the culture Control or Compete. When change is introduced it’s resisted in a Control culture. Not because it’s a bad idea but because it’s new and new can’t be right. If you, or your staff, find yourself meeting new ideas with this statement: This is the way we’ve always done it. You’ve got work to do. Or if when it’s time to change, you can’t make a decision because someone, somewhere always has to challenge every detail of the new change. Those that have a culture to Collaborate or Create embrace change when it arrives. Does this mean that you are willing to jump on every new and exciting thing that shows up on your desk? Of course not! But you will at least take the time to see if it will work for your company.
Most companies don’t need help implementing new things; they need help in changing their culture. It’s not something that happens overnight because a change in culture means a change in your identity. It’s the internal branding to your internal customers that makes the greatest impact on your external customers. What do your employees believe about the place they work? That’s what determines if your organization can handle change.