Many CEOs and top management teams need to shift their organizational strategy, institute substantial operational improvements, and unleash a stream of innovative new offerings – and quickly. Yet despite possessing the will, vision and financial wherewithal to do so, their corporate culture holds them back. The beliefs and habits of managers up and down the organization stifle those who embark on a new strategic direction, bureaucratize operational improvements and slow them to a crawl, and cripple promising initiatives in product and business model innovation. The result: despite substantial investments to move a company in a whole new direction, the initiative suffers painfully slow progress and a sharply increased risk of failure.
We help CEOs of organizations achieve the strategic shifts, organizational changes, and product and business model innovations they have to make by enabling them to institute necessary and fundamental changes in their culture. We work with senior management to understand the hidden beliefs that worsen leadership and team behavior, and thus impede change, erode motivation, and worsen financial performance. We then explicitly lay out the cultural changes (in values, beliefs and behaviors) that top management must make (both individually and as teams) to become a unified group that can lead the transformation of the business. Through workshops and fieldwork, we help them “walk the talk” and put their new leadership skills and behaviors into action. Working with senior leadership armed with new skills, we involve increasing levels of the organization until they achieve a tipping point and the culture begins to fundamentally change.
Changing, or even shifting, a corporate culture is incredibly difficult. Many leaders, having tried and failed to make a dent in their culture, have resigned to constrict their strategies to fit what the culture will support. Given the pace of change and the nimbleness of new entrants and the quickening arrival of substitute products and services, this competitive strategy is no longer an option.
In our fifteen years of supporting leaders with change, we have concluded that the biggest reason change efforts fail is because the organization lacks a critical mass of change savvy leaders. Populated by leaders skilled at driving productivity, delivering on plan, and producing predictable short-term results, organizations lack enough leaders who are skilled at developing emergent strategy, working with people to overcome their discomfort and immunity to change, and coaching and developing people to adapt more quickly.
Over a span of time, we partner with organizational leadership to build change leadership capability in several areas: transforming one’s self and others, transforming teams, transforming the business, and transformational conversations. We introduce ideas and through intensive skills-practice, we build the change leadership capability needed to shift values, mindsets, and ultimately behavior. We bring together multiple levels of leaders and their teams and start the creation of the new culture through the interactions of team members on real business challenges. Through repeated segments of action and reflection, we work with leaders to transform their habits and competing commitments until the behavior becomes routine and habitual.