In meeting with a mentor of mine last week, we got into a discussion about company culture and how to drive change. He mentioned something that stuck – you can’t change a company culture, but you can change the climate… As new leaders become seasoned leaders, influencing company culture becomes a part of the job. Without a healthy company culture, it can be hard to create lasting growth. But, when driving change, the approach of “I need to change this place” is usually met with pushback and angst. Instead, we need to change the climate that then, in the result, changes the culture.
Setting the right temperature…
- Identify low hanging fruit that can shift process, collaboration methods, or physical environment
- Ensure changes being made are seen & heard outside of direct team before pushing expansion
- When ready, onboard advocates to bring changes to other teams. This network effect should produce broad changes across the organization
Every company needs to evolve as jobs change and generations interact differently. If you’re in a position to influence company culture, think less about pushing big changes, more about setting up the processes and environments that can naturally produce change.