Culture begins with and is shaped by the behavior of the senior leaders. In mature organizations, the leaders have been influenced by the current culture as much as they have given shape to it, and they currently benefit from perpetuating the current culture.
Culture transformation is a shift that can take place throughout an entire organization or in individual departments and teams. It requires changing the hearts, minds, and skills of the workforce to support the desired culture. Individuals must first have the conviction (heart) to change their behavior. Then, they must understand what behavior change looks like (mind) and have the necessary tools (skills) to change.
Every employee plays a part in the process of changing organizational culture, but at the end of the day, leaders are the ones who can make or break it; the choices they make cause a ripple effect on employee recruitment, engagement, and performance that powerfully impacts a company’s performance.
A successful transformation requires full engagement and buy-in from all levels of leadership throughout the organization. Leaders play a vital role in modeling and coaching the desired behaviors that will permeate the company. Without a commitment from leaders to transform the culture, employees are not likely to make lasting behavior changes on their own.