How To Create A Culture That Embraces Change

How To Create A Culture That Embraces Change
SHARE
THIS



Campbell Macpherson (main photo) is a sought-after speaker and international business adviser on leadership, strategy and change who splits his time between Australia and the UK. His latest book, The Power to Change (Kogan Page 2020) has been shortlisted for the 2021 Business Book Awards. In this guest spot, Macpherson provides expert tips on tackling the tricky topic of office culture…

‘Culture is everything,’ declared Louis Gerstner when he was the Chairman of IBM. He was half right.

‘A culture that embraces change is everything’ would have been more complete. For if we have learnt anything during this last crazy year, it is that an organisation’s ability to change is business-critical. Success is only possible if your people are ready, willing and able to change.

Because change isn’t about processes or systems or business models or balance sheets. It is about people. It is about culture. And culture starts at the top.

It begins with the realisation that the first step towards creating a culture that accepts uncertainty and embraces change is creating a leadership team that does the same thing. A leadership team of leaders who know they don’t have to have all the answers – and are OK with that. Leaders who are confident enough to admit when they don’t know. Leaders who acknowledge that life and business are both inherently uncertain – and accept this reality.

Leaders who know that leadership today is all about leading change. Leaders who understand that all change is personal, all change is emotional, and emotions are four times more powerful than logic when it comes to change. Leaders who know that leadership today is about helping their people to want to change.

Successful leaders today build cultures that encourage people to accept uncertainty as part of life, embrace change and look for the opportunities.

And here are 5 key things that you can do to build a change-ready culture in your business:

  1. Be clear about the why and the what, but flexible when it comes to how. Strategy should never be set in stone, especially during such uncertain times. But there is strength in flexibility – as long as your people are crystal clear about why your organisation exists, who it exists to serve, what makes it special and what gives you all the right to succeed. Then engage your people in how to deliver.
  2. Make sure all of your leaders can lead change. 88% of change initiatives and business strategies fail to deliver, according to a 2016 survey by Bain & Co. In my first book, The Change Catalyst, I list the top ten reasons why change has such a spectacularly poor success record – and every single one is to do with leadership. In my ‘Leading Change’ workshops and webinars, we explore why change fails and the essential ingredients for successful change. They all boil down to leadership.
  3. Make sure all of your leaders throughout the organisation ‘own’ the strategy – this means engaging with them all to enable them to air their concerns and explore implications of the new direction and approach. This is the only way to build a united and aligned multi-layered leadership team.
  4. Give your people the skills to embrace change. The ability to appreciate that change is constant. It is not a project or a one-off. It is a part of life. In my ‘Embracing Change’ webinars, we explore how the powerful emotions we experience when big change is done to us are completely normal – and they can be harnessed and turned to our advantage. That each of us erects our own unique barriers to change, which can be overcome. We can learn to detach from our negative thoughts, reframe the way we look at life’s challenges, confront our fears – and accept change. Every one of us can be our own change leader – if we acknowledge our emotional reactions without judgment and then ask the magic question: “So, what am I going to do about it?”
  5. Set your people up to succeed. Make sure your organisation’s policies, management processes, incentives, rules and communications are all designed to encourage informed risk-taking and innovation; enable people to try, fail and learn from the experience; and celebrate successful change.

The power to accept and embrace change is one of the most important gifts you can give your people – for success at work and in life. And the future success of your business depends upon the ability of your people to accept uncertainty, harness change and make it work – for everyone.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Campbell Macpherson

Latest News

Adflow’s Regional OOH Coverage Expands By 60%
  • Media

Adflow’s Regional OOH Coverage Expands By 60%

OOH transit company Adflow has announced the success of the first phase of its regional expansion program. Adflow’s regional footprint has increased by 60 per cent to now include 65 regional locations. With 9.1 million people living regionally in Australia (growth of 1.1 per cent experienced in the 19/20 Financial year) and most regional centres […]

Freshworks Starts Trading On Nasdaq, Valued at $13.7 Billion
  • Technology

Freshworks Starts Trading On Nasdaq, Valued at $13.7 Billion

Freshworks, a leading software company, has started trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market, marking an important milestone for the company. The company priced its IPO at US$36 per share (AU$49.76), raising about US$1 billion (AU$1.4B), resulting in a total market capitalisation of AU$13.7 billion  (US$10B). Freshworks, which was founded in India, has strong roots […]

SLIK Announces Four New Key Hires
  • Marketing
  • Media

SLIK Announces Four New Key Hires

Independent creative agency, SLIK, has made significant changes to its full service creative offering with four hires across management, creative and production.

How Retailers Can Maximise Their Results This Sales Season
  • Marketing
  • Technology

How Retailers Can Maximise Their Results This Sales Season

Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) is the biggest player in the holiday shopping game and Google’s most recent research suggests consumer interest for the peak sales season starts much earlier than retailers may realise. The pandemic has fundamentally changed buyer behaviour over peak sales season, with Google suggesting that global consumer interest in Black Friday […]

Agent99 Adds The Distilled Spirits Council Of The U.S &  Helen Tarrant To Portfolio
  • Marketing

Agent99 Adds The Distilled Spirits Council Of The U.S & Helen Tarrant To Portfolio

Awindependent PR Agency Agent99 has added The Distilled Spirits Council of the US (DISCUS) to its client roster, alongside thought leader and commercial property specialist, Helen Tarrant. DISCUS is a national trade association representing U.S. producers, marketers, and exporters of distilled spirits. The account was won following a competitive pitch earlier this year. DISCUS has […]

Melbourne Creatives Release “Locktown” T-shirts To Raise Funds For Beyond Blue
  • Campaigns
  • Media

Melbourne Creatives Release “Locktown” T-shirts To Raise Funds For Beyond Blue

Melbourne-based independent creative agency, By All Means, has today released limited edition ‘Locktown’ t-shirts to create a positive, artistic commemoration of their city, while shining a spotlight on the significant impact of lockdown on the mental health of Victorians. After 235 days under strict stay-at-home orders, Melbourne today claims the unenviable crown from Buenos Aires […]

Influencer Marketing Agency Komodo Announces New TikTok Offering
  • Marketing

Influencer Marketing Agency Komodo Announces New TikTok Offering

Global marketing agency, Komodo, has announced it will be launching a dedicated TikTok arm to the business in Australia, following a series of key industry hires and new creators signed to their roster. The agency, who partners brands with social influencers across the globe, aims to bring a new dimension to influencer marketing by assisting brands […]

How Retail Can Help Consumers Ride The Emotional Rollercoaster Of COVID-19
  • Opinion

How Retail Can Help Consumers Ride The Emotional Rollercoaster Of COVID-19

According to Fifth Dimension CEO Lyndall Spooner, whether you like roller coasters or not, we have all been riding ‘Dashed Hopes’ the COVID-19 emotional roller coaster for over 18 months and many of us have turned to online retail therapy to cope.   Spooner uses the analogy of an emotional roller coaster to depict consumers’ […]

Havas Village Australia Launches “Be Together” To Reunite Staff With Loved Ones When Borders Open
  • Media

Havas Village Australia Launches “Be Together” To Reunite Staff With Loved Ones When Borders Open

Underscoring its ongoing commitment to team care and wellbeing, during and beyond the pandemic, Havas Village Australia has introduced be together – a reconnection initiative to enable staff to reconnect with loved ones for longer when domestic and international borders reopen. The initiative, which reflects the Havas core value ‘Better Together’, gives staff from Host/Havas, […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
ANZ Brands Top Pattern’s Best Practice Ranking Of Brands On Amazon.com.au
  • Media

ANZ Brands Top Pattern’s Best Practice Ranking Of Brands On Amazon.com.au

Global ecommerce and marketplace specialist Pattern has ranked a group of 50 brands selling on Amazon.com.au based on a set of best practice criteria it has developed. Pet brand Zenify topped the ranking in Pattern’s Amazon Australia Benchmarking Report, scoring 82 per cent of the possible marks against a set of criteria designed to measure […]

Fifth Dimension Expands Executive Leadership Team
  • Marketing

Fifth Dimension Expands Executive Leadership Team

Fifth Dimension Consulting has announced the expansion of its executive leadership team in response to the organisation’s significant growth over the last 18 months. Lyndall Spooner has moved from the position of managing director to the role of chief executive officer (CEO).  As CEO, she will lead Fifth Dimensions’ innovation arm, as well as the […]