Five Ways to Leverage Culture During Change

Successful change leaders pay attention to culture during times of organizational change.

We define culture as the meaning, purpose, norms and values people associate with their work.

Effective change leaders take a cultural perspective to examine meaning, purpose and values expressed by their organization through written and spoken communications, activities, events, and ceremonies common in their work environment.

Leaders who successfully leverage this cultural lens during times of rapid and transformational organizational change:
  1. Symbols
    Use symbols that capture the attention of those impacted by and leading change.

  2. Vision
    Evoke a strong vision to help people develop a new purpose to believe in while shifting to new ways and desired behavior.

  3. Information Sharing and Transparency
    Explain and interpret what’s happening. Share what they know, what they do not know, and when they will have more information so that the “gray areas” do not get filled in with barriers to change.

  4. Shared Values
    Create shared values to guide decisions and behavior.

  5. Model the Way
    Initiate and preside at transition events while challenging old norms and assumptions.

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