Once your organization decides to make intentional Culture change, the work has only begun.
After agreeing on the need, value and direction of the change, each individual must be invited and expected to participate. At this individual level, ongoing work and success requires:
- Description: What work behaviors demonstrate this new intentional Culture: the way we will do things around here?
- Mutual understanding and commitment: Does everyone have the same understanding of what’s expected and the willingness to make the change? Express willingness out loud among the team.
- Repetition: repeat, repeat.
Relationships among staff need to be built so that it’s expected to reinforce and reward each other in making the change as well as to hold each other and self accountable for continuous improvements. Team members need to recognize there will be slip-up’s and need to talk about how to help each other recover and move ahead.
There are several personal techniques that may be useful in such accountability. One of those techniques is perspective: a personal pocket mirror so to speak:
“I am the person who __ (fill in the blank) __.”
- (respect) I am the person who starts staff meetings on time to show respect for those who are prepared.
- (courtesy) I am the person who actively listens to each person with whom I speak.
- (respect, courtesy) I am the person who takes a deep breath and practices continuing respectful conversation in difficult moments or on difficult subjects.
- (teamwork) I am the person who informs others about potential delays in a project timeline so that the whole team can plan well.
- (courtesy, leadership) I am the person who practices criticizing without judging and helps others do the same.
To help you visualize the value of this practice, consider a recent glaring example: Can anyone imagine the individual who would not have benefitted from a deep breath and a seconds-long break in the situation of removing a passenger from a flight to remind himself, “I am the person who treats others with respect?”
What powerful change could that moment of perspective have wrought? What every-day change can this practice make for you?