3www.haygroup.comPsychological approaches to culture emphasize theshared and deeply-learned skills, habits of thinking,and mental models employed by individuals in anorganization.David McClelland’s social motives, which arecharacteristics of individuals, play a role in definingorganizational culture. For example, firmspopulated largely by individuals selected for a strongneed for achievement will emphasize theaccomplishment of short-term and tangible goals,often at the expense of longer-term aspirations.• Relationships and networksThe sociological and social psychological approachesemphasize group norms as a manifestation ofculture. Norms are the implicit standards and valuesthat evolve in working groups, and are reflected inthe rules of the game, often most visible insocialization processes. For instance, itmanifests itself in such advice given to newemployees to ‘keep your head down, don’tcreate conflicts, and you will be successful.’Hence, culture is a social phenomenonobserved in the behavioral patterns that arisewhen people interact: the language they use,the customs and traditions that evolve, and therituals they employ in a wide variety ofsituations. If you ask people about theirorganization’s culture, they may answer interms of relationships, for example: ‘We arevery competitive,’ ‘this is a command-and-control organization,’ or ‘we work as oneteam.’1 Hay Group conducted an extensive review of culture research including: Beyer (1987), Deal and Kennedy (1982),Douglas (1986), Gagliardi (1990), Geertz (1973), Goffman (1959, 1967), Hofstede (1984), Homans (1950), Jones,Moore, and Snyder (1988), Pondy, Frost, Morgan, and Dandridge (1983), Smircich (1983), Van Maanen (1976)Figure 2: The three dimensions of cultureCulture: three interdependentwebs of meaningIndividuals’motives andvaluesPeoplerelationshipsandnetworksOrganizationpurpose andmeaningFields of anthropologyand philosophy The collective and symbolicfabric of meaning in terms ofwhich people interpret theirexperience and guide theiractionField of sociology The form that actiontypically takes The pattern of social andpower interactionField of psychology The core goal , wants,and needs that peopleusually strive to reach andsatisfyPoint ofsharedmeaning
5www.haygroup.comNew game, new rulesChanging culture is a transformational journey. It’scertainly not an event. It takes time and self-awareness. Moreover, individuals and organizationscannot change if they cannot learn. Hence culturetransformation is really a journey of buildingawareness and alignment between where you aspireto be strategically and the three dimensions ofculture.The starting point is to understand the strategicrequirements of your organization: what type ofculture is needed to deliver the short- and long-termresults you desire? Leaders need to define the typesof behaviors that will be required to help theorganization be successful. Then, they need toprioritize the change levers that will produce themost impactful culture change and focus onsystematically implementing those catalysts forchange [see Figure 3]. Often the most impactful changes are focusedon realigning symbols and artifacts – theintangible levers of change – coupled withleadership acting as role models of the newculture.One of the biggest challenges in mostorganizations is that leadership behaviors,management systems, and organizationalsymbols send conflicting messages toemployees. For example, a company toutsitself as a ‘caring employer’ but employees areexpected to report for work even when theyare ill. Hence, it is critical to make sure thatconsistent messages are sent to reinforce thebehaviors that are needed at the individual,team, and organization levels.Figure 3: How to transform and align culture1
7www.haygroup.comWhen an organization’s culture needs tosignificantly evolve or adapt to the environment,effective leaders are the first ones to make the effortto demonstrate new behaviors, acknowledge whenthey fail, and show resilience to try again. Culturetransformation requires leaders that are engaged inlearning, risk-taking and re-affirming the behaviorsthat are expected in an organization.Leading culture transformation requires thewillingness to ‘go deep’ within oneself and theorganization. Helping others to change their beliefsand their behaviors requires a clear sense of self,emotional maturity, and determination to make thejourney over several months (and often years).Achieving successful changeCulture transformation is a journey that willchallenge the most resilient and experiencedexecutives and their leadership teams. But that doesnot mean that it is to be avoided. Effectivelyexecuted, it is a rewarding experience that leads tohighly-motivated employees, satisfied customers,and outstanding business results.Culture is extremely powerful when itsystematically and skillfully translates anorganization’s collective and individual beliefsinto consistent and effective behaviors.You can be successful if you follow theprinciples of culture transformation we haveoutlined in this paper:99 Go ‘deep’ to drive and sustain behaviorchange99 Align organizational culture to the businessstrategy99 Create shared meaning at the individual,social, and organizational levels99 Identify the key levers to help implementculture change99 Demonstrate self-awareness andcommitment to lead the transformationCulture transformation is a journey withouta final destination. If undertaken in the rightway, it is a process of continuous improvementand adaptation that will lead to increasedemployee engagement and improved businessperformance for everyone involved.About Hay Group’s global R&D centre for strategy executionHay Group’s global R&D centre for strategy execution researches best practices in strategyexecution globally. Based in Singapore, the centre provides a unique East-West perspective forbusiness leaders all over the world. Our research helps provide insightful advice to executiveslooking to build effective organizations for the future.ContactJeff Shiraki Vice-president, Hay Group E| email@example.comAndreas Raharso, Ph.D Director, Global R&D centre for strategy execution, Hay GroupE| firstname.lastname@example.orgAgnes Long Research associate, Global R&D centre for strategy execution, Hay GroupE| email@example.comHay Group’s Jean-Marc Laouchez, Katie Lemaire and Ruth Wageman also contributed on thispaper.
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