Change Your Culture a Few Behaviors at a Time

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Many leaders try to change their company’s culture in tandem with new strategies, such as mergers or turnarounds. But most cultures are so entrenched that wholesale change is near impossible. Instead, choose your battles and focus on a few critical shifts.
First observe the behaviors prevalent in your organization now. Then compare that to how people would act in an ideal state where their actions supported the new business objectives. Prioritize the behaviors that will have the greatest impact on your company’s ability to implement its strategy. Choose ones that will be widely visible to others and are most likely to be emulated. Emphasizing just a few will allow you to move the needle on culture change much more easily.

Adapted from “Culture Change that Sticks” by Jon R. Katzenbach, Ilona Steffen, and Caroline Kronley.

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