How Leaders Can Quickly Change Culture

One of the most important impacts on the performance of an organization is the culture that is created by the leader. The role of culture is immense, I suspect that you have heard the Peter Drucker quote “Culture eats Strategy for breakfast”, but even that doesn’t quite cover the impact and importance of culture.

Culture is what guides peoples, what drives them, and what they will fall back on in times of stress and pressure.

When you have a strong culture and the right culture, you have everyone in your organization pulling in the same direction and the right direction and its this that will skyrocket your organizations’ performance.

Where does culture come from?

Leadership defines culture and there are two outcomes here, the leader can define a new culture and shape the organization or they can conform to the existing culture but this will just maintain the status quo. 

The latter is only a good option if the organization already has the right culture, but too often people leave the culture alone because the perception is that changing culture is hard and that it can take a long time to change. 

But that’s not true!

Culture can be changed, but you have to be committed to it. You have to define it, live it, and reinforce it each day.  I have helped to successfully change cultures in several organizations so I know that it is possible. In terms of timing, I have helped to do that as quickly as within 6 months, and I would have said that’s about the quickest it could be done. But I have had to rethink what’s possible that after seeing the changes at the football team I support, Leeds United, where the new manager, Marcelo Bielsa, changed the culture within just 6 weeks.

It took 2 years for the team to achieve success, but the culture was clearly changed in just over 1 month.

Marcelo took an average team, who played boring football, who lacked belief, who many said lacked the players and the quality to do well, and turned them into one of the best teams in the league in just 6 weeks.

Here’s a brief video about him and how he did it just click the link to learn more.

When leaders have passion, commitment, and create a clear vision where the team can see that what they are doing is the right thing then this accelerates the changing of the culture.  When your teams see how they will benefit from the new culture then they will quickly adopt and embrace it.

When you define a culture that is the right culture for everyone: your customers; your company; and your teams; and you are passionate and committed to it, then the timeline for implementation is significantly reduced.

If you want to know more about changing culture or implementing the right culture then email me and let’s talk.