Wednesday 13 July 2011

Community precedes culture change

The cultural change talk inside organisations is again alive and well. I have observed this happens in tough times and leaders are searching for ways to gain competitive advantage or strategic positioning.

Most of the talk never leads anywhere. When good times return it mostly disappears from the boardrooms and corridors of most organisations.

If you are or want to be on the leading edge, change must always be top of mind, regardless of situation or circumstance. Change is both evolution and revolution and usually at the same time.

In addition to all change being personal first, followed by change in relationships, there are three critical factors we must embrace to ensure that we thrive on the challenges of change. These are community, culture, and creativity.

Community leads to culture and culture to creativity, and creativity to change. What kind of community are you creating at your workplace?

In thriving communities or tribes to use the vernacular, there are 9 foundations I observe that are essential for success:

1) Leadership is everyone’s business
Leadership is not about title or position. Leadership is about who we are and what we do that inspires other people to be the one-of-a-kind that each of us is

2) There is a shared view about:
Where we are, Where we’re going, Why we’re going there, How we will get where we’re going, and Who will do What and When.

3) People are appreciated when they do well

4) People hold themselves to account when performance is less than agreed it will be

5) Values are virtues
This means our values are demonstrated by our behaviours.

6) People genuinely care for one another

7) There is a deep underlying cause or purpose for our existence as a community/tribe

8) People compete with themselves and not with other people

9) There are high levels of collaboration

Culture, meaning, the way we do this around here, emerges from community. We then avoid the domination by what a colleague of mine, Steve Simpson, calls UGRs® (undwritten ground rules).

Creativity emerges from culture.

If there is insufficient innovation in your business or at your workplace I suggest that is primarily because there is a lack of community or a less than possible sense of belonging in your tribe.

The good news is you can change everything beginning right now by changing yourself, your relationships, and then building a community and culture where creativity is a natural consequence.

Be the difference you want to see in the world
Founder Differencemakers Community

Author of Changing What’s Normal

Partner of passionate and enlightened leaders in several countries since 1991, to change what’s normal for the good of people, our planet, and for profit.

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