Cultural Transformation

Organisational culture, the set of shared values, beliefs, and assumptions of the organisation, plays a large role in organisational effectiveness and performance. One of the main barriers to successful organisational transformation is the culture of the workplace.

Over time, organisational cultures generally evolve along with business strategy, and they become mutually reinforcing.  The problem comes when the organisation’s leadership decides to implement a new strategy or change of direction that requires changes to the way people think and act at work. 

From the perspective of organisational transformation, neglecting cultural change is one of the factors known to contribute to the high rates of transformation project failures. However, a cultural change program should support strategic objectives. If culture becomes the main focus and doesn’t add value to the strategic objectives of a business, then the costs may outweigh the potential returns.

Pros

  • It can create a better work environment by improving employees’ day-to-day interactions.
  • Culture fuels the entire organization; individual performance gains translate into gains across the entire business.
  • It can increase organisational agility and resilience needed to adapt to continual change.

Cons

  • The time it actually takes to break-through and change existing attitudes and behaviours.
  • The potential negative impact on engagement and performance when efforts stall and fail.
  • Processes and systems must also be updated to reward the expected new cultural norms.

Recommended resources:

 The International Council of Management Consulting Institutes

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