Monday, October 6, 2008

Changing Organizational Culture

I recently read an article that suggested organizational culture cannot be changed. I would rather not mention the author but did want to respond to this comment. It has been our experience that organizational culture can be changed. It is not quick and easy. However, it is a journey worth pursuing. There are many organizations that have a negative, even abusive culture. To suggest that this cannot be changed, rather, it can only be managed, as the author suggests, is a very sad comment. These cultures experience high employee turnover, top-down decision making and poor customer relationsh.

On the positive side, we know that these cultures can be changed and improved. We have taken organizations through this journey and seen their productivity and employee satisfaction increase. I agree that this is a difficult change to undertake but the rewards are clear. Engagement of all employees is crucial. We find that the change is achievable when the desire is there. It is often driven by a need for improved bottom-line results and/or customer relations and/or staff retention. As well, it sometimes advisable to start at a department level. This is often an easier place to start before moving into full-scale organizational implementation.

I'm interested in other's experiences. Let me know what yours have been.