Make Sure You’re Doing Culture Change Management Right

August 3, 2022 Jamie Notter

More and more leaders are becoming very intentional about culture, and we LOVE that. They are not settling for generic core values—they are defining specific pillars that define their culture, which are rooted in clear behavior expectations. They’re not letting their culture drift and evolve randomly. Instead, they’re intentionally shaping it to fit today’s “new normal.”

All of that, however, requires culture change management. Culture change isn’t as hard as a lot of people say, but it does require continuous effort and attention, and way too many leaders seem to lack the bandwidth to do the important work of culture change management, and they’re seeing results suffer.

For example, we’ve seen organizations do a great job at culture design (figuring out where their culture needs to change and developing a set of action items that will change it), but then they become very slow at implementing the change. They stay wedded to change efforts that turn out to be ill-timed or just ineffective, and the next thing you know, they are two years into culture change—but very little has changed. This can seriously damage staff morale and their trust in leadership.

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We also see leaders struggling to align their culture change with other core organizational processes, like strategic planning and budgeting. They might be working to create a culture that is disciplined about accountability, yet very few staff have visibility into the strategy process, and budgeting is also done behind closed doors, simply because that’s how they’ve always done it. The inconsistency is glaring to staff and it makes it much harder to shift the culture to be more accountability-focused.

We designed our Culture Change Management Coaching program to nip these problems in the bud. We work one-on-one with the single leader who is the “process owner” for culture change in your organization and map out a clear roadmap for the culture work, including implementing the change initiatives, measuring progress and impact, and aligning culture change with other core internal processes.

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If you feel like your culture is starting to slip because you don’t have the bandwidth to do the change management, then consider bringing in a coach to help you. Staying on top of culture is more important than ever with the great resignation in full swing. A culture change management coach could make the difference between attracting talent and losing them.

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.