by Trevor Lee

So you want to change your culture? It won’t happen by accident. When it comes to culture, the old quote, “Insanity is doing the same things and expecting different results” is true. Changing culture is as much an art as a science, so there’s not a three-step process to culture change. But there are some elements that are essential if you want to see it happen. Here are five important ones to get you started.

Know your current culture.

If you want to make changes to your culture it means you already have a sense of it, but if you’re going to change it a sense isn’t good enough. You need to understand not only what your culture is, but why it is that way. What are the organizational rhythms, processes, habits, and attitudes that perpetuate the current culture? How does leadership reinforce the current culture–both actively and passively? How have people learned to function in the current culture and what will their pain points be if things change?

by Matt Thomas

Recently, I spent some time with two groups of business owners down in Dallas leading workshops on organizational culture and exit strategies. It was a blast. During a break, one of these executives pulled me aside after learning that a major focus of our business is talent acquisition. He lamented his company’s inability to attract top talent even though they have, in his view, an incredibly strong culture. In the other workshop, another executive complained that her company had no difficulty getting talented people in the door, but their retention rates were horrendous. I asked the first leader how well they pay their people. His response was familiar, “We pay okay, but we’re really after people who buy into our mission.” In my experience “okay” is usually code for below market. I asked the second executive the same question. She responded enthusiastically, “Our comp is at or near the top of our industry!” Wonderful. Follow up question: “Why do your people love working at your company?” Crickets. Here are three principles leaders need to accept about organizational culture: