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6 mindsets of culture transformation

Lou Markstrom | June 30, 2015
We spend time "putting out fires" but do we take the time to consider the source of the issues?

The culture of your organisation will determine its success. It's the environment that you create that is either supporting your vision, mission, goals, and purpose or it's the environment that you are fighting against while pursuing these.

We all know this from a social perspective: if your child hangs around with good kids, your he or she will probably become a good kid; if your child hangs around with bad kids, it's time to change who they mix with and encourage a better environment and culture.

The culture of your organisation is the context in which everything you are looking to achieve takes place. Context can be thought of as a great cup of tea. The cup that holds the tea is the context while the tea itself is the content.

Similarly in your organisation, the culture would be the cup and your goals, tasks, activities, objectives would be the tea.

The cup or context that holds the content is critical. It is what allows the content to be delivered effectively. If the context is broken, no matter how great the content is, it does not get delivered effectively. Imagine we searched the globe and found the best cup of tea on the planet for you to drink.

The content would be brilliant, but if the context/cup is broken, it is not delivered. If the cup had a crack in the bottom and the tea leaked all over the floor, it's not the best cup of tea anymore.

Would you get down and lick it up? Or if the context wasn't broken, just tarnished, the content is also ruined. For instance, the last person to wash the cup left some soap film on the inside. Again, the content is ruined.

We tend to spend the majority of time "putting out fires" on an operational level, but do we take the time to consider the source of the issues. Very often we have recurring content issues that we keep trying to address and they keep happening.

This is due to trying to fix a context issue as a content issue. It does not work. As an example, the CIO of a large media company was convinced his staff needed to develop their talent in the area of client service interactions.

After meeting with his team, it was clear that although they could improve those skills, it would not make a difference. It was not a content issue of client interaction skills that needed to be addressed, but rather a context/cultural issue that his team had lost sight of "who their clients were" and what they represented. The solution was to address transformation of the culture before upskilling the interaction skills.


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