Lost your password?
Don't have an account? Sign Up

“They Say” – Part 2

So I was sure you are getting tired of hearing MY thoughts on food safety culture so I went looking for some other experts who can help you see things from another perspective. I hope you enjoy what THEY HAVE TO SAY.

Bryan Walker and Sarah A. Soule wrote a very thought-provoking article in the Harvard Business Review – Changing Company Culture Requires a Movement, Not a Mandate. Here are some of their insights.

“Culture is like the wind. It is invisible, yet its effect can be seen and felt. When it is blowing in your direction it makes for smooth sailing. When it is blowing against you, everything is more difficult. For organizations seeking to become more adaptive and innovative, culture change is often the most challenging part of the transformation. But culture change can’t be achieved through top-down mandate. It lives in the collective hearts and habits of people and their shared perception of “how things are done around here.”

Someone with authority can demand compliance, but they can’t dictate optimism, trust, conviction, or creativity.

Culture change needs to happen through a movement, not a mandate. To create a movement in your organization, start by framing the issue in terms that stir emotion and incite action; then mobilize more supporters by demonstrating quick wins. Broadcast these wins to an even wider audience by leveraging employees’ social networks, and using symbolism and pockets of innovation to keep momentum going. It’s important to start with actions, not new mission statements or company structures, because culture change only happens when people take action. Show people the change you want to see.

They cite the example of Dr. Reddy’s: A Movement-Minded Case Study where G.V. Prasad, CEO of Dr. Reddy’s, a 33-year-old global pharmaceutical company headquartered in India that produces affordable generic medication led a culture change. With the company’s more than seven distinct business units operating in 27 countries and more than 20,000 employees, decision-making had grown more convoluted and branches of the organization had become misaligned. Over the years, Dr. Reddy’s had built in lots of procedures, and for many good reasons. But those procedures had also slowed the company down.

Prasad sought to evolve Dr. Reddy’s culture to be nimble, innovative, and patient-centered. He knew it required a journey to align and galvanize all employees. His leadership team began with a search for purpose. Working with the authors and people from all levels in the organization, they defined and distilled the purpose of the company, paring it down to four simple words that center on the patient: “Good health can’t wait.”

But instead of plastering this new slogan on motivational posters and repeating it in all-hands meetings, the leadership team began by quietly using it to start guiding their own decisions. The goal was to demonstrate this idea in action, not talk about it.

At this point it was time to more broadly share the stated purpose — first internally with all employees, and then externally with the world. At the internal launch event, Dr. Reddy’s employees learned about their purpose and were invited to be part of realizing it. Everyone was asked to make a personal promise about how they, in their current role, would contribute to “good health can’t wait.” The following day Dr. Reddy’s unveiled a new brand identity and website that publicly stated its purpose.

They conclude that culture change only happens when people take action. So, start there. While articulating a mission and changing company structures are important, it’s often a more successful approach to tackle those sorts of issues after you’ve been able to show people the change you want to see.

You should read the whole article here: https://hbr.org/2017/06/changing-company-culture-requires-a-movement-not-a-mandate