March 7, 2023

Driving cultural change 

Get ready and take a deep breath this month’s Leadership Update is all about culture change. It’s a huge subject, so we’ve broken it down into small, bitesize pieces starting with eight articles that caught our eye while we’ve been carrying out our own research over the past few weeks.  

We also have a conversation between Juliet and Mark – neither of them strangers to the world of culture change – who explore the Forbes and BCG articles that cover the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of successful transformation and change programmes.  

‘It may not be discussed every day, but culture is always there in the background, affecting every bit of work that gets done – or doesn’t. It’s the human factor.’
Understanding the importance of corporate culture after The Great Resignation, Forbes 

Tackling a subject like culture change is a challenge at the best of times, but in our complex world of crisis and change it can feel overwhelming. With stats like these though, we know we can’t ignore it:  

  • 74% of employees say the culture impacts their performance 
  • 91% of managers say they use culture fit as much as skills for the selection of new hires 
  • 35% of American workers wouldn’t take a job that was a perfect fit if the organizational culture clashed with their values 

Understanding the importance of corporate culture after The Great Resignation, Forbes 

We’d love to hear about your experiences of culture change, please get in touch, we’d love to chat and swap stories, in the meantime. Happy reading & listening! 

Research in leadership

Every month we curate the most interesting research in leadership and present you with a summary to help you find the most valuable insights for you and your organisation.

The importance of culture after the Great Resignation

Research in Forbes finds 74% of American workers believe culture influences their jobperformance and 63% believe it impacts organisational success. Increasingly workers are choosing employers for culture more than the job so it’s fundamental to attracting talent

What works, and what doesn't, in transformation

BCG identifies three essential elements of successful transformations – holistic management of change efforts, consistent leadership alignment and employee-centric change management. With these three dimensions in place success is twice as likely on average.

Leaving leadership

Reflecting on the departure from global politics of Jacinda Ardern and Nicola Sturgeon some commentators have recognised the toxic culture surrounding politicians. They both identified their humanity as a reason to leave – what is your culture doing to your people?

Workplace rituals: Recapturing the magic of what we've lost

McKinsey partners discuss workplace rituals and how they build community and culture in an organisation. With hybrid work we need to be intentional about creating rituals that connect people, even when they are physically apart, to build relationships and belonging

Transform your culture with continuous learning

One of the most powerful culture changes for an organisation to thrive is to adopt a learning culture. Recognising that most learning is not in a formal classroom but every day on the job and through social interactions will enable employees to learn to experiment.

HR Predictions for 2023

Josh Bersin’s Predictions for 2023 include the idea that ‘every company will need to revisit its leadership model’. Companies now work in teams not hierarchies, and focus on skills not jobs. Leadership culture needs to change from directive to supportive and empowering.

Transformational benefits of treating every employee as a leader

Chief People Officer at Gympass has created a paradigm shift in organisational culture by treating every employee as a leader. They feel empowered to drive change and autonomy to make decisions. Engagement, innovation and retention are up, and burnout is down.

Collaborative overload

Prof Rob Cross explains in HBR the concept of Collaborative Overload. Collaboration is taking over the workplace, with many positive outcomes, but too much collaboration is slowing decision making and leading to burn out. We need to collaborate more efficiently.

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