How to change an organisation’s culture and why it goes wrong

Sometimes serendipity results in two or three events coinciding to provide a new insight or clarify especially challenging issues. Over the weekend my Twitterfeed lead me to three different sources all talking about organisational culture.  For me, these underlined four key aspects of this concept.

  1. Organisational culture is extremely difficult to change.
  2. There has to be absolute and total commitment from top management.
  3. Every aspect of the organisation has to be considered in detail in order to achieve clarity and consistency.
  4. There is no one ‘right’ way to go about changing a culture.

The first source of insight was from Micah Solomon.  He provides a checklist of nine actions a company should take.  I’m sure he would be the first to say that these a just a sketch map of how to go about it, when what is really needed is a finely detailed map.  But it does highlight some specific change initiatives.

The second insight came from Bain & Company, who provide a case study of how one company – NPS – went about culture change by setting up a central group to drive the change through the organisation.

The final insight has come from  In this post, Larry Senn identifies four reasons why culture change initiatives go wrong.

This entry was posted in Chap 11 Jobs and people, Operations Management and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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