Fresh Insights

Who wants to attend a one day workshop on the new values and behaviours your company has decided upon?  I’m going to take a punt and suggest it’s... not many.  When I ask this questions of participants in my workshops there is rarely more than 15% who are keen to attend.  Comments like “here we go again”, “I don’t have time for this” and “I don’t see the point” spring to mind.

It’s ironic that one of the very things that makes a company great – it’s values – are not valued.

I don’t think that people don’t care about them.  In fact, it’s quite the opposite.  They do care.  It’s just that they have lost interest in how they are rolled out across the business, and the reality that they are not embedded into the everyday becomes their bugbear.  They don’t want to invest time into a day of training knowing that it won’t become part of how they do business, build relationships, manage or lead.  They don’t want to waste time on something the business does not own nor drive, especially when they don’t hold their leaders or people to account on them.  That’s fair enough I reckon.  We make some insane choices as organisations.

What’s the definition of insanity?  Doing the same thing over and over, in the hope of getting a different result.  It’s time to recognise that what we are doing is not working.  And at its worst, damaging the engagement of people in the process. 

As the Harvard Business Review article ‘Why Change Programs Don’t Produce Change’ concluded, the ‘greatest obstacle to revitalization is the idea that it comes about through company-wide change programs, particularly when a corporate staff group such as human resources sponsors them’. Ouch!

I know that when we become good at having the conversations that matter, giving and receiving feedback in the everyday, then workplaces thrive.  So along with Peter Cook, my good friend and expert in ‘implementing projects that matter’, I have devised a cunning plan to embed cultures that matter.

With our vast experience in driving cultural change and implementing projects, we know why this program will work better than the others. We gotta do things differently if we want a different outcome.

There’s no point re-inventing the wheel if there are components of transforming cultures that work.  You know what they say: ‘If it ain’t broke why fix it?’.  Sometimes you can try to be to be too clever. 

So, here’s what we know works when transforming cultures: Embedding a feedback culture compare to the traditional change programs that most of us have been to at some point.

  

If you want to learn more about embedding a culture that matters, then download Georgia’s white paper; ‘Feedback Cultures are Game Changers’ and start following her blogs.

Who can relate to seeing posters with values and behaviours pinned on the office walls? Perhaps they even looked pretty impressive with a fabulous infographic, some inspiring quote and bright colours yet… the people don’t live true to them? 

Have you ever had a leader, that talks about how important it to be honest yet you know they are twisting the truth to a customer or not coming clean about the risks of a new project?  Yep.  Me too.  Too often.

Organisations are too focused on getting the values and behaviours on the wall and thinking that is enough.  It’s not.  Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that they are not important.  They are.  It’s vital to have some agreement of how we want to behave, lead and engage with each other, our customers and our suppliers.  But they are not the panacea for change. 

They are just the beginning.

Many years ago I was sitting in my workplace boardroom listening to the CEO talk about the new values that will ‘lead our business into the future’.  He spoke about respect and trust, about innovation and diversity.  Many of us gave each other subtle ‘eye-rolls’ with a mild up tilt of the chin and the ‘I know what you’re thinking’ kind of face.  We all knew that he would be the first to ignore these values and fall back to the ‘my way or the highway’ style of leading.  This speech became another reason for us to feel disengaged and actually damaged trust and respect. The very thing he was trying to drive.  How ironic.

Values and behaviours do not transform cultures. 

It’s how we behave, how we deal with each other, how we communicate that transforms.  Not the words.  Susan Scott says, that happens ‘one conversation at a time’.

The Harvard Business Review paper; ‘Why Change Programs Don’t Produce Change’ which talks about the 4 year study, found that the ‘greatest obstacle to revitalization is the idea that it comes about through companywide change programs, particularly when a corporate staff group such as human resources sponsors them’.  Ouch! 

They suggest that successful change is not about ‘participation’ of behaviours and values or ‘culture’ but focusing on what we are trying to achieve in the everyday and the work itself. 

So it’s safe to say that if we focused on becoming better at having conversations that matter, then we are likely to become better at the implementation of great strategies, building the performance of our people and building great relationships with our clients.  Which all leads to a fully engaged workforce and a profitable business.  Boom!

 

To understand how to transform teams and organisations through a feedback culture talk to Georgia Murch about the ‘Embedding Feedback’ program or start by reading ‘Fixing Feedback’. 

About Georgia

Georgia is obsessed with the power of great communication. She knows how great communication leads to great collaboration and helps create outstanding cultures.

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Contact

Email: niki@georgiamurch.com

Phone: 0402 119 333