The collision of Climate, Culture, and Change and the impacts of getting it wrong. Presented at Agile Day Chicago 2018. To see more, visit https://www.kaiovate.com/knowledge-sharing/climate-culture-and-change
Thank you! Passionate about this topic. Learned early on and implemented it later on that culture is a big player in our change initiatives Story of going into a company
deals with how people are experiencing the work environment at any given moment. What is it like to work there and to operate in that culture? How are business conditions and management decisions and actions affecting the general mood?
Can be manipulated or changed based on needs of the internal/external environment Can change according to the behavior of the employees Focuses on current work practices of the organization Defines the day-to-day functioning at a short-term perspective Reflects the current state of the organization
Write 3 phrases, quotes you would expect to hear around your organization that implies a certain climate What is the current climate in your team, in your area, in your organization? What stories are you hearing from people? (complaining, inspiring, supportive, etc.) What is the tone from people? Share with the person(s) next to you what those phrases are. That person labels what the climate is based off your phrases.
Your identity as a company. The values and the norms that have arisen organically over time. Rooted in the history of the culture.
Sometimes called the onion model, the deeper the layer, the harder it is to adjust (and probably the more crying you’ll do… get it, onion)
What people see on the surface. Artifacts mark the surface of the organization. They are the visible elements in the organization such as logos, the building, ping pong tables, architecture, structure, processes and corporate clothing. These are not only visible to the employees but also visible and recognizable for external parties. **Describe the difference between AccuLynx and MSI** (offices per person vs shared desks, colorful walls with no pictures vs beige walls with company accomplishments, etc.) Draw the symbols and artifacts that someone would see entering your workplace (3) Share what you drew and have the person next to you guess what you were going for. Describe the picture in less than 3 words
Shared Values The significant values, morals, and beliefs claimed to be especially important by leaders in the organization. What do people get rewarded for? Share with your partner the values that your organization holds true. **For example, we value transparency** How does your values align with what you see with the Artifacts and Symbols
Basic underlying assumptions How situations or problems within the organization are treated after repetition First, look at your assumptions. How do you plan and think about every day situations at work? What do people get ignored for? WHY do we do what we do?? Ask 3-5 times “Known” but not discussed, not written down or easily found. The basic underlying assumptions are deeply embedded in the organizational culture and are experienced as self-evident and unconscious behavior. Assumptions are hard to recognize from within. Hardest to change or be addressed bc they aren’t dealt with openly. Change most likely threatens underlying assumptions, so addressing these can allow org change to happen without much drama
Ask probing questions at least 3 times to trigger deeper reflection
GIVE EXAMPLES Climate and culture are connected and feed off each other
Me: We think we're changing the culture, but in reality we're changing the climate. So, when it looks like everyone's mindset has changed, we've only changed the perception. There are still underlying norms, values, etc that remain the same. Focus on change tends to be on the loudest person, the highest leader, those that you only talk to. We think leaders know the culture. We think the loudest person knows the climate or culture. There are many examples where organizations embark on a culture change initiative (or a change that is trying to affect culture) and then stop once the climate has changed, assuming that the culture has changed also. Conversely organizations can set off an entire organizational culture change program because they don’t like the organizational climate.
It can be very expensive to confuse the two with the cost, effort spent, rework needed, time wasted, etc.
Peter Drucker who said “Culture eats strategy for breakfast” Culture Eats strategy for breakfast = eats climate for lunch and eats change for dinner
What should the climate look like if the change is going to be successful? (If it’s different than it is now) What should the culture look like if the change is going to be successful? Answering these questions help understand what needs to happen to get to where we need to be.
Taken from a marketing strategy called “influence marketing” or “influencer outreach”. Bring it to the C-level executives, to leadership, to middle management, to employees. Everyone is an influencer to the culture. Some can actually drive culture (like leadership). Take Uber for example which had leadership that drove a culture of men inclusivity. Any training on inclusion of women falls on deaf ears bc starting from leadership, that wasn’t the culture. Have visible proponents. For culture change to stick, it must be a priority of the CEO and board of directors. “Show the board a framework for understanding organizational culture and its impact on performance,” Work with the board to create a standing performance objective for the CEO that evaluates culture. Coach, Teach, Lead!
Take a breather, Fuel up the tank and continue. It’s not going to be an easy ride
Adapted from a “Hook Canvas” which is how apps are designed to be addictive, can also be used to make sure changes become habits. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal Also taken from habit forming routines. If the reward is positive, you’ll want to perform the behavior again. Do this enough times and autonomous habit is formed.
Align your transformational change with the culture and brand. Culture must resonate with both employees and the marketplace. This is especially relevant in our current online world, where today’s bad customer experience can become tomorrow’s viral sensation. Think of an insurance company that stresses the importance of family to customers (their slogan might be “We take care of your family no matter the circumstances”). But, their culture has no benefits for paternity leave and people are expected to work late hours and come in early missing time with their family. Culture should align with the brand. With that the goals of the change effort should also align.
It’s up to you to prevent collisions and move toward collaboration. The first step is identifying how the changes we are doing will impact the culture and recognizing that climate is the little “devil” that makes us think we’re moving the needle until we hit that wall.
No longer should it be about juggling multiple balls. Let’s have one focus that includes all three of these pieces understanding that they all are impacted based on what we want to bring about.
The Collision of Climate, Change, and Culture_Agile Day Chicago 2018
E b o n y N i c o l e B r o w n
AV O I D I N G T H E CO L L I S I O N
October 26, 2018 1
EBONY NICOLE BROWN
SaaS Oil & Gas Financial Insurance
EMPLOYEE SIZE GLOBAL EXPERIENCE
Training & Design
WHAT I DO
K N O W T H E D I F F E R E N C E S
October 26, 2018