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Posted by on Apr 30, 2014 in Business, company culture, Culture, Featured, Leadership | 3 comments

Culture is King and Change Leadership is Queen

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The great Kings and Queens work in tandem with each other, and are loved by the people.  Great leaders are loved too. In business, culture and change leadership are King and Queen.

A client of mine when confronted with stories suggesting not all is well in parts of his business says “That’s not the way we roll.” He is talking about his company’s culture. He often share’s great and authentic stories with employees beginning with “The way we roll is …” My client, like all great leaders, is a guardian, a keeper, a role model of culture.

UGRs (unwritten ground rules) tell the true story of your culture. UGRs dictate the way things roll in your business. It could be that your UGRs are very different to what your operating manuals say! Here are 3 special ways to make culture a King who is loved in your business:

1) Invest time, energy and money every day in ensuring shared-view

Culture is created and sustained by ensuring an ongoing shared-view with the people you work with about:

where you are (reality)

where you’re going (possibility)

why you’re going there (purpose)

how you will get there (strategy)

who will do what and when (execution)

how you will know you are on track (milestones and lead measures)

how you will behave along the way (values)

2) Live your values

How we live our values underpins culture.

We often articulate our values with single words. The real issue is what do the words you have that describe your values look like behaviourially?

When we know what our values mean behaviourially we can turn our values into virtues and engage in meaningful appreciation and accountability conversations, praising people when values are lived and holding them to account when they’re not.

3) Management By Wandering Around (MBWA)

The concept of MBWA, originally a way of being at Hewlett Packard, was made popular by Tom Peters. Today we might call it leadership and management by wandering around. The only way you can ensure the legitimacy of your culture as a leader is to be where the action is i.e. with your people, listening, observing, sharing; leading.

The only way you can ensure the legitimacy of your culture as a leader is to be where the action is i.e. with your people, listening, observing, sharing; leading.

For culture to be King, change leadership must be Queen

All great leaders operate in partnerships. The Gates Foundation is working because Bill and Melinda are both leading in harmony with one another. There would have been no Jobs without Wozniak, no Winston without Clementine.

In order to grow and sustain authenticity, cultures need change leadership. Here are 3 special ways to be a change leader:

1) Change Yourself

All change is personal first. First you must make a list of the things you aren’t doing that you know you should be and start doing them. Ask others for “feedforward” about how you could be better as a leader. And take something you are afraid of and embrace it.

2) Change your relationships

Think about a relationship at your workplace that you and the other person want to be better. Answer the following questions and act on your answers. Repeat this action with everyone in your life where you and they want a better relationship.

How can I improve how I make contact with xxxx?

How can I better connect emotionally with xxxx?

What must I do to find better common-ground with xxxx?

How can I better demonstrate my commitment to xxxx?

3) Change your organisation

Explore with your inner circle how the people in your organisation could do what they do, just better, differently or more uniquely than anybody else. Embrace rebel thinking as you do this exercise. Rebel – mavericks, radicals, dissenters, disrupters, heretics, non-conformists, contrarians, (the label doesn’t really matter) think differently. Thinking like a rebel is a great way to find your edge, the place to be to differentiate your organisation from everyone else.

After you have done this exercise agree with your colleagues on how you will engage the rest of your employees, most likely one team at a time, in embracing change. Remember if people don’t believe in change and own their piece of the execution puzzle change won’t happen.

If people don’t believe in change and own their piece of the execution puzzle change won’t happen.

Some people believe that change is hard. I believe change is often hard work yet change itself is simple. We complicate it.

Like people change can’t be managed. We can manage processes, systems, procedures. People must be lead. In a world where disruption is normal change leadership is Queen in your business. When culture is King as well you will have royalty on the throne of your business. Remarkable results will follow.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.

Wise words to consider:

“Change management is dependent on emergencies. But change is no longer an emergency. Change is normal.” - Seth Godin in ‘Survival Is Not Enough’. 

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” - Albert Einstein
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Image credit: addricky / 123RF Stock Photo

Ian Berry

Since 1991 Ian Berry has be inspiring leaders to think like mavericks, change what’s normal, and achieve better business results. He is the author of Changing What's Normal, regarded by many as a seminal work in the fields of personal, relationship and organisational change. Ian created the Enhancing Their Gifts System to provide leaders with a fast track to becoming a change champion. Find out more about Ian at www.ianberry.biz

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  • http://www.brilliancewithincoaching.com/jeffsblog/ Jeff Harmon

    Love the post. I say to clients all the time there is no such thing as org transformation…only personal transformation.

  • http://www.brilliancewithincoaching.com/jeffsblog/ Jeff Harmon

    Love the post. I say to clients all the time there is no such thing as org transformation…only personal transformation.

  • http://www.ianberry.biz Ian Berry

    Spot on Jeff