Cultural Change: How to kick start a cultural change



Cultural Change: How to kick start a cultural change

When I hear people talk self-righteously about a cultural problem in a company, a division or a department, I am reminded of the many conversations I have witnessed where someone is holding court about how bad drivers are in a particular country, state or city. I have been lucky enough to live and work in many countries around the world and in many states in the USA, I have also travelled extensively and seen and been a part of the traffic adventures in Dublin on the emerald Isle, Sydney in “the land down under”, along the byroads around the Taj Mahal, on the roads from Beijing to the great wall of China, and I should not forget, repeatedly speeding around the Arc de Triomphe n Paris – at night.


So how are these two situations similar? It must be one of our ingrained human characteristics that we are very quick to make observations about how bad other people are at something while being able to ignore any shortcomings we may have ourselves. In many cases it is even worse and we are the self-proclaimed experts or poster children for how things should be, while everyone else deserves derision.


This is why we should use a mirror to help us get started on any improvement initiative. Look deep into the blue, green, brown, hazel or poke-a-dot eye(s) you see in the mirror and ask yourself “what can I do to change this current reality”. Take the same mirror and hold it up to your group, your company and ask the same question. What will you do to change things? Ask, “are you all willing to change and willing to put in the tremendous effort it will take?”


Kick starting a cultural change is that simple, look in the mirror take an honest look, yes an honest look, and start with what you see. Success in undertaking a cultural change will come from an unceasing drive by you, your team and all those willing to look into the mirror with an open and humble mind.


In a while I will publish my thoughts on the steps to follow after you kick start a change; but for now make a great start by holding up that mirror and repeating again and again that,


“The secret to successful cultural change is closer than you think”.
“The secret to successful cultural change is closer than you think”.
“The secret to successful cultural change is closer than..”
“The secret to successful cultural change is closer...”
“The secret to successful cultural..”
“The secret to successful...”
“The secret to..”
“The secret...”



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