I get it. You’re a chairperson of a large organization, and people are bypassing some of your executives and coming directly to you. You might be thinking, “How can things go so wrong when we’ve hired the right people?” Most importantly, instead of spending time increasing long term value in the marketplace, you’re breaking down silos and helping your leadership team be more cohesive.
Before you let it anger you, consider getting your act together. In my world, “act” is spelled ACTT:
A Is For Alignment
Align yourself with who you need to be. People engage with who you are, not words written on a page.
Just like superheroes, you have “superpowers” within. Inside you is a “Super Child” who knows how to be positive, imaginative and curious. You also have a fearless “Super Teenager”— you know, the part of you that pushes necessary boundaries. You’ll need this part of you to question assumptions that you may have had in the past. Lastly, culture change isn’t easy. You will need to be prepared to hear something you might not like. You might even need to let go of some of the people you previously thought you could rely on. Practice some self-empathy by aligning yourself with the “Super Loving Parent” within you.
By tapping into your Super Child, Super Teenager and Super Loving Parent, you’ll have the ability to embody the culture you want others to follow.
C Is For Crew
A crew is different than a team. A crew takes 100% responsibility for their part in creating success. They are committed to creating value for the business. Crews don’t blame others; they just accept failure as part of a learning process.
Think about your leadership team. Who takes 100% responsibility for their intended and unintended impact? Who is committed to communicating clearly? As you think through it, this might give you a good idea of who you want to stay on board with your company.
T Is For Transition Plan
Now that you have aligned yourself and you are aware of who you can count on, it’s time for you to know what adds value to your culture and be clear on what behaviors and actions you will not tolerate. In communicating change, there are four P’s to consider.
• What is the big picture? Why do we exist as a company beyond making money?
• What part does each of your crew members play in adding value to the company?
• What is the plan? How might your crew cultivate long-term sustainability in the marketplace?
• When is the party? How will success be measured and celebrated?
T Is For Transformation
We can’t drive or force the organizational culture to change, but we can commit to creating a container of safety in our organization. We can do this by taking 100% responsibility for our intended and our unintended impacts. Further, we can make a commitment to allocate time and money for transformation to occur for the sake of our leaders and teams.
When board members ACTT, the culture will never go back to what it was before. Organizational silos will break down. Cohesiveness will increase. And, ultimately, productivity will rise.
Remember, the culture you want is much more than co-creating a shared vision, writing value statements or defining group norms. Although these things might be necessary, people follow who you are, not what you wrote on a page.
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