Change Is Natural
Consultants love to say that change is nigh impossible, but it’s simply not true.
To change is human. Our ability to adapt together is what put us homo sapiens on top of the world and it’s what keeps us there.
The one thing to remember is that cultural change is really just individual behavior change on a mass scale. To succeed, our change programs start from the perspective of the individual: their motivations, their fears, their ideas, and their ability or inability to adopt new behaviors.
Change may not always be painless, but it’s always possible.
One-Size Fits None
In cultural and organizational design, there’s always a flavor of the month, a popular darling, or a bestseller that everyone is buzzing about.
We chase fit, not fads.
Our practice borrows from everywhere, including decades of academic research, evidence-based approaches, and yes even bleeding-edge case studies, but we only introduce tools and concepts that are right for your unique culture and context. You should be the best version of what your market demands, not someone else’s carbon copy.
Speaking of chasing fit, we’ve developed a model for cultural and organizational design depending on the size and stage of an organization. We calibrate everything from our approach, fees, and services to your size and stage. Download the PDF.
Cultures Are Complex
Organizational cultures are complex adaptive systems. Meaning, cultures are more than the sum of their parts. Cultures can be unpredictable. They can adapt to change and no single person has control over how they behave.
If you can’t predict a culture, then the lengthy discovery process that traditional consultants love makes no sense. You can’t understand how a culture works until you try to change it.
If no single person has control over how a culture behaves, then drawing a new org chart has a very limited effect on the culture. In fact, rushing to draw new boxes tends to create more harm than good.
If you want to safely improve a culture, then you have to start with a series of small prototypes in change (e.g. pick one project to staff differently, change one meeting structure, choose one customer segment to try a new service approach with, etc.) and scale them up as they prove successful. This view of culture might be hard to wrap your head around at first, but this approach has made all the difference in our work and success rate.