Transforming Culture to Achieve Organizational Success
By Ragland Thomas G.
“Culture eats Strategy for Breakfast.” – Peter Drucker
An organization can have the best strategy, people, infrastructure, and resources but if the culture is dysfunctional then the organization will fail. The priority for the CEO of the organization is to nurture the culture and to ensure that the organizational culture is vibrant, effective and provides the right ecosystem for achieving business success. As an OD Professional, the focus will be to facilitate the nurturing and development of the organizational culture through the leaders of the organization. Some of the key takeaways for the OD Professional are as follows:
- Transforming the Culture
“Culture is the deeper level of basic assumptions and beliefs that are shared by members of an organization, that operate unconsciously and define in a basic ‘taken for granted’ fashion an organization’s view of its self and its environment.” – Edgar Schein
Culture is the coming together of the values, beliefs, and assumptions of an organization and once it is set, it operates unconsciously and defines many aspects of the organization. If the organization has to change or adopt a new product or change behaviors, then the culture should support that change. If not, there will be significant resistance. The OD Professional should work on how to bring about a change in the culture so that the organization is able to accomplish its goals.
- Transforming the Leaders
“Every CEO is, in fact, a Chief Cultural Officer. The terrifying thing is it’s the CEO’s actual behavior, not their speeches or the list of values they have put up on posters, that defines what the culture is.” – Scott Berkun
The focus for the OD Professional is to facilitate the transformation of the leaders in the organization into role models so that they can set the right example for others to follow. Sometimes the leaders expect others and the organization to change while they continue in their old behaviors, but employees look to the leaders to find out if they are practicing what they preach. The OD Professional should facilitate a transformation of the leaders in the organization so that they are able to role model what they want the rest of the organization to do.
- Transforming the Exchange
“A hallmark of a healthy creative culture is that its people feel free to share ideas, opinions, and criticisms. Lack of candor, if unchecked, ultimately leads to dysfunctional environments.” – Ed Catmull
The OD Professional should work with the leaders to transform the exchange between people – conversations, ideas, and thoughts which represent the lifeblood of the organization. The focus should be on unblocking the free flow, removing the fear and facilitating dialogues between people. This exchange between people should be aligned to achieve the mission of the organization, facilitating innovation, enhancing the voice of the employees and revealing potential risks in the organization.
In these times of fast-paced change and disruption, the ability and skills of an OD Professional to transform cultures to achieve business success have become very critical. The OD Professional should have a set of tools, practices, models and best practices to be able to assess the current status of the culture, envision the future state of the culture, identify the gap, and work with the leaders to take ownership and become the culture champions.
Ragland Thomas G, MS, ODCC, is currently serving as Vice President for IOD Global Organization Development & Strategy and heads up the Global Institute of Organization Development Networking organization (GIODN) at IOD. Ragland is an HR & OD Professional with experience in Consulting, Manufacturing, Information Technology, BPO & KPO & Shared Services Industry verticals.
The OD Certified Consultant (ODCC) program is an Advanced Organization Development program and will provide participants with the knowledge, skills, tools, and models needed to become Culture Champions. As an advanced OD program, culture transformation is a key focus area.
IOD offers online Organization Development Certification Programs to help participants gain skills to advance in their career in the field of OD.
This program (ODCC) is offered online, meeting for 3 hours per month, over an 8 month period. IOD’s OD Certification Programs are offered online over 8 months, meeting 3 hours per month. Each session is delivered through Go-to-training. Our expert faculty provide interactive discussions, examples, tools, guidelines, and resources to enrich your learning experience.
For more information about our certification programs and other offerings, visit our website www.instituteod.com.