Changing a corporate culture is an option to be selected only after a thorough analysis of the existing culture.
Before rushing in to change things it is necessary to understand the culture as it exists now, and to be clear about where you want it to go.
In a large organization, shifting the culture is like turning a battleship.
The captain should plan well in advance, have ample power, have enough time and space.
Here are some reasons you might consider undertaking a culture shift.
- You are new CEO brought in to fix a crumbling company. You will need to take some exceptional risks to succeed.
- You are the responsible leader in a merger or acquisition. The two cultures are very different and you need to choose one.
- The new strategic plan you have spent months developing cannot be implemented by the organization, given its current culture, and you and your executive team are committed to this plan.
- You are a middle manager in a large organization and the team you are taking over is out of step with the direction of the company.
- You are a leader in the midst of a personal transformation. You believe deeply that you can have a more effective organization while making a happier, healthier work life for everyone by going all out for a collaborative environment, open communication, and participative management.
There may be other reasons to embark on a culture change, but they ought to be at least as good as these, and you should be a real believer in the new culture you want to install.
In a large organization, culture change is a massive project and you would be wise to consider bringing in a knowledgeable and competent outside person to assist you.