Many leaders are intentional about their culture. They define it clearly and they over-communicate to staff about what it is, why it’s important, and what kind of behaviors they expect.
That is all super important, but it’s not enough. If you want your culture to be truly amazing, then it can’t just be an idea or a set of concepts—it must be actively managed.
For example, we worked with a division inside a large organization that was struggling with agility. Their response was to create a set of internal communications that stressed the importance of embracing change and being agile (literally, they had a slide deck that ended with “Don’t just say your agile—BE agile!”).
Okay…but what does that look like? If you want to create more agility in your organization, then you need to go beyond the concepts and actually change the way you do things. You want your people to be more agile? Then figure out what’s getting in their way:
- Clarify decision making roles (and document it) so people don’t waste time getting approvals or input they don’t need.
- Train your people in understanding their own profitability so you can then trust them to make purchasing decisions.
- Train your people in conflict resolution so they can handle disagreements directly rather than sending it back up the chain to be resolved.
Agility lives (and dies) inside your processes, procedures, policies, and even skills. So yes, you should be clear about the concepts in your culture, but don’t stop there. Actively build and nurture the culture you want with intentional change in the way you do things. This is why most of our projects include a culture coaching component, so we can help leaders stay on top of the many different aspects of culture change.