Effective leaders effectively use the power of redefining cultural values in order to achieve the future that they desire.
Imagine a busy organization striving to achieve corporate as well as individual performance targets. However, the CEO suffers a tragic accident and dies. Everyone is left wondering what the future holds because they were a keen visionary and a source of forceful energy. But, in the midst of the grief and the activity involved in scrambling for a way forward, one of the young team leaders is glowing with the new life that she is carrying. The future has presented itself!
Change management requires that leaders understand the historical cultural values of an organization, as well as perceive critical moments where paradigm shifts can be made. According to Schein (2010), organizational culture is
“a pattern of shared basic assumptions that the group learned as it solved its problems of external adaptation and internal integration, that has worked well enough to be considered valid and, therefore, to be taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think, and feel in relation to those problems”(Tharp, ?; https://www.thercfgroup.com/files/resources/Defining-Culture-and-Organizationa-Culture_5.pdf).
This includes invisible elements like values, attitudes and beliefs; as well as visible artifacts (e.g., signage, employee dress and product line) and behaviors (e.g., financial reporting, hiring/firing practices and training). For more on organizational culture see the video below.
When organizational culture values are redefined to incorporate employee goals, the result is greater buy-in. Why? Because people, as social beings, want to “fit in” and “go along” with cultural norms and values.
For example, establishing a culture of continuous improvement will cause employees to embrace new ways of working, or at the very least consider new ways of thinking about workin an evolving global environment.
Redefining cultural values can make team members more optimistic and celebrate symbolic events. For example, the Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare Germantown hospital experienced joy in the midst of sorrow as they welcomed a Memphis-area baby girl who was born at 9:11 p.m. on 9/11 and weighed 9 pounds and 11 ounces. Her proud parents are Justin and Cametrione Brown (Oliveira, 2019).
“Her mother told the station she was in eighth grade during the 2001 terrorist attacks.
“We had emotions and we felt it,” she said. “On that day, 9/11, you know, you find triumph, you find a piece of joy from a day that’s so drastic and still hurts.”(Oliveira
, 2019; http://www.msn.com/en-xl/northamerica/northamerica-top-stories/a-tennessee-baby-was-born-at-911-pm-on-9-11-—-weighing-9-pounds-11-ounces/ar-AAHgzbT?MSCC=1568570941&ocid=spartandhp#image=AAH7Yda|17).
One thing to remember is that successful change management intiatives start at the top – be it with parents, teachers, supervisors, or CEOs. But, to be sustained, it is important to engage team members at every level early on.
As you work on redefining organizational values, consider the great value placed on one of nature’s best gifts to us at https://www.dropbox.com/s/civ6jnmfx6lsmdm/Jamaica_CC%26Water2.docx?dl=0 or explore more offerings at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/KeishaAMitchellPhD .