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.