Personal change is hard. It’s even harder trying to change an organisation’s culture.
I hear many companies talk about culture change because they need to be doing things differently. What they mean is changing the way people act. But they try this without looking to change anything about the organisation—no change in the processes or the policies in place.
What this says is that they want the people to behave differently, but don’t want to change the environment that currently governs how they are supposed to act.
This is why most culture change initiatives fail.
Now some of the efforts may cause some short-term changes just by brute force, but soon the behaviours revert. The status quo is a fierce force to fight.
In my organisation, I see efforts for change fail, but that’s because there’s no change in policies or procedures. And efforts to change them falls flat. There is just little buy-in from the people above to drive the change.
I’ve spoken before about bringing change in thinking by first changing behaviours, but this requires that people have the freedom to change. Too many times, I don’t see that happening. It’s like management expects the change to happen simply by will, then get upset when it doesn’t happen.
They keep on making the same mistake time and again. That’s the definition of insanity—doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.