Culture change can be difficult to implement because values and beliefs are difficult to modify. To ensure that these efforts create underlying changes that will last, work at each of these levels should also include examination of potential risks, barriers, and obstacles to success. It is important to assess beliefs and fears at each of these levels early and make plans to address the findings.
WLH Consulting, Inc. (“WLH”) has helped numerous clients transform their internal culture to realize their strategic vision. In one particular case, a client needed to bring two distinct cultures together following a merger. Individuals from both organizations came together, found common ground, and created shared commitment to the new organization. Working at all three levels helped ensure clear, consistent messages were communicated about what was changing and why, and helped effect cultural change by creating common values and goals.
To achieve the established financial and business targets, leadership recognized the need to get teams up and running and quickly aligned around common goals and beliefs. The senior team underwent a disciplined process to define the new culture by clearly articulating the vision, values, and core beliefs. To build commitment around the vision, workshops were held to give teams an opportunity to explore what the vision meant, to further define the desired behaviors needed to accomplish goals, and for each individual to understand their accountability for realizing the vision.