I Know You Have a Lot on Your Plate, But Your Culture Is the Plate

June 20, 2023
June 20, 2023 Jamie Notter

I’m hearing a lot about “change fatigue” these days. With all the emergency changing you did in the pandemic, plus the permanent adaptations you are now making to partially remote work, you’re probably feeling a little overwhelmed. Then someone points out how AI is going to change everything, and you’re ready to throw in the towel.

That change fatigue is one of the reasons people give me when they are deciding to put off doing any culture work. They are concerned that their people won’t have the bandwidth to do the culture change, given everything else that is on their plate.

But here’s the challenge: your culture IS the plate.

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Your culture is already having a direct impact on every other project they are doing, and in many cases, the culture is making it harder for them to achieve success in those projects. Whether you have silos that don’t collaborate well, people making decisions based on incomplete information, or risk aversion that forces everyone into “always done it that way” mode, your current culture patterns touch everything you do, and not in a good way sometimes.

So if you really want to free up space on people’s plates, then repair all the cracks in the plate. Fix your culture first. When your culture is better aligned, those other projects get done faster and under budget, and that’s what will really free up space. In our culture design project, you can start the change in about a month and see noticeable results in less than a year.

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Jamie Notter

Jamie is a co-founder and culture strategist at PROPEL, where he helps leaders create amazing workplace cultures that drive greater performance and impact. He brings thirty years of experience to his work designing and managing culture, and has specialized along the way in areas like conflict resolution and generations. Jamie is the co-author of four popular business books, including the award-winning Non-Obvious Guide to Employee Engagement, and his fall 2023 release, Culture Change Made Easy. He holds a Master’s in conflict resolution from George Mason and a certificate in Organization Development from Georgetown, where he serves as adjunct faculty.