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.
I love the title of this article and I am sure you will enjoy what Michael Beer has to say.
“To Change Your Company’s Culture, Don’t Start by Trying to Change the Culture”
Culture change is probably on your leadership agenda. You may want (or feel forced) to create a post-pandemic culture, or become more collaborative, innovative, or aggressive.
But most companies fail in this because they try to change culture directly—through speeches, training programs, or direct intervention in meetings.
“CULTURE GETS CHANGED BY DOING REAL WORK IN LINE WITH THE NEW STRATEGY, A NEW GOVERNANCE MODEL, BUSINESS PROCESSES, OR PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS.”
Pain is part of the cost of successful knee surgery, but that doesn’t mean banging someone on the knee with a hammer is successful knee surgery. Culture is how a group does the things it does. It changes because people start doing things differently or start doing different things. The causality doesn’t go the other way.
So, in a company, you first need to change how the company is organized, managed, and led in light of its strategic goals. The goals themselves may need to change. A new culture then emerges as a by-product of these changes.
Vince Forlenza’s experience, as former CEO of medical technology maker Becton Dickinson, in developing a more innovative culture highlighted the following critical activities:
- Encourage open communication as employees provided feedback and suggestions.
- Align stakeholders and teams needed to address barriers to change.
- Elevate high-potential talent by giving them an opportunity to identify and solve challenges across the organization.
He did this by insisting that culture task force members working in a given function or business interviewed people in functions and businesses they were not working in and then to be involved with people from other activities to solve the problems.
Culture isn’t something you fix…
Harvard Business School professor Jay Lorsch and investment analyst Emily McTague interviewed current and past CEOs who had led successful corporate transformations and came to the same conclusion in another Harvard Business review article. “[These leaders] say that culture isn’t something you ‘fix.’ Rather, in their experience, cultural change is what you get after you’ve put new processes or structures in place to tackle tough business challenges like reworking an outdated strategy or business model. The culture evolves as you do that.