Transforming Organizational Culture

Efficient organizations are forever changing to learn information, adapt to current climates, and stay a step ahead of the competition. Change isn’t an easy task to harness, especially when we are talking about changing an entire culture of an organization.  A culture has been developed from years of experiences which then forms a way of worklife. Have you ever attempted to change your own “way of life”? Whether it has been dieting or relocating from a hot climate to a cold climate. Change is a tough task to deal with.

Today, I read an interesting excerpt by Joseph M. Patrnchak entitled Building Belief: The Five Keys to Lasting Cultural Transformation. The excerpt explains the process of how The Cleveland Clinic was transformed from a “respected but not liked” organization into a highly engaged organization by changing it’s culture. Joseph discusses everything between small changes in organizational language to large initiatives such as leadership changes. Not the replacement of physical bodies and their positions but the replacement of the current leadership’s thought process, behaviors, and responds. He introduced Robert K. Greenleaf’s servant leadership as a suitable leadership style for the type of organization. Servant leadership is the concept that a leader should be a servant before anything else. The needs of the employees should be above the leader’s own needs and the power should be shared throughout the organization. Change champions, training, and awards initiatives were introduces as well in a support to change the culture.

In summary, the excerpt determined five keys to sustaining culture change.

  1. Acknowledge the dissatisfaction/problem
  2. Catch the vision and turn it into a cause
  3. Care for the employees so they will take care of the customers
  4. Hard wire the change into every aspect of the leadership development
  5. Commit to a long process of transformation

Major initiatives to change the culture were mentioned and the initiatives produced great results. However, I’m curious to know about the details. Were there were any push back? What did it look like? How was it handled? The entire transformation was seamless, which is great! However, how realistic is that in changing an entire culture?  I’m simply thinking about how I can take the lessons introduced in this excerpt and potentially use them in my future career endeavors. Overall, I would recommend this read to my I/O Psychologist and HR friends!



#MotivationalMondays – 3 Key Concepts for Motivating Your Employees

“Another day, another dollar!”

Achieving a highly productive work environment which fosters creativity, team work, continuous learning, and quality results has proven to be quite a difficult task. Luckily, performance management systems provide a standardized process to state, track, and manage accomplishments of organizational objectives. When thinking about managing employees efforts in regards to meeting their job expectations; motivation can be the key ingredient in determining whether your workplace is flavor-ably spicy delight or a bland, lackluster dish.

The following 3 concepts (listed in rank) can assist in motivating employees and giving employees a sense of accomplishment:

1. Assigning New Projects/Challenges РGive your employees the opportunity to use their unique skills and personal interest as often as possible. Look to fit employees into roles they can use their computer graphic skill, evening planning, or other interest to maximize the project results and give the employee the space to do what they love. Especially important to present this opportunity to the employee seeking a challenge.

2. Mentorships – For an employee to have someone to look up to, share their goals with, get honest feedback from (other resources other than a direct supervisor) can be a very motivating experience. Not to mention, this concept could associate more positive connections between the employee and the company. This is a development tool providing great benefits if managed appropriately.

3. Informal Positive Feedback – Leave a note, shoot an email, or just stop by their office to let the employee know that you recognize and appreciate their hard work! Don’t wait until the formal review process, informal gestures seem more genuine.