Culture Change | MIT Sloan Management Review | Rose Hollister et al.

How the authors see it: “We define culture as a shared set of values (what we care about), beliefs (what we believe to be true), and norms of behavior (how we do things). […] We developed a set of culture transformation principles that maximize the likelihood of success:

  • Recognize that responsibility for culture can’t be delegated.
  • Start with the “why.”
  • Define the target cultural values and behaviors.
  • Engage and get input.
  • Build a bridge to the future desired culture.
  • Build a culture road map.
  • Reinforce the desired culture in all organizational systems.
  • Rapidly reward the emerging culture. “

Source: Hollister, R., Tecosky, K., Watkins, M, & Wolpert, C. (2021) Why Every Executive Should Be Focusing on Culture Change Now, MIT Sloan Management Review, Reprint 63137

Michel Baudin‘s comments: I define culture more simply as “the way we do things around here.” You don’t change it by making it the goal of a change program. To do it, first, you change the work, and then employees’ perceptions follow.

Redesign shop floor layouts to facilitate flow, develop multiskilled operators, hire employees for whole careers and retain them through thick and thin, engage them in solving problems,…

Over time, employees realize it’s not idle talk about lofty goals but concrete changes to their daily experience, including teamwork. Then it becomes “the way we do things around here,” in other words, a new culture.