Much of our work at TAG involves working with leaders who are committed to building healthy organizational cultures. Both our research and our decades of experience is clear – winning organizations have healthy cultures where people are able to experience the fulfillment of three basic human desires – to belong, to contribute, and to make a difference.
We tend to avoid reducing our counsel to simplistic ‘lists’ – neither people nor organizations are built from orderly blueprints. But we have been able to discover ten ironclad practices that organizations with healthy cultures share. We call them the 10 Commandments For Great Organizational Cultures.
1. Create safe places for people to express opinions and pushback.
2. Direct intentional conversations where people can speak their minds and hearts.
3. Manage anxiety levels, acknowledging and providing outlets for the inevitable sense of loss which accompanies change.
4. Use the water cooler to encourage fruitful, informal conversations which are unscripted and so authentic.
5. Reward risk taking, so people can know they can fail and still have a place on the team if that failure was for a good cause.
6. Resist consensus building remembering that leaders get input to make more informed decisions, not to go with the prevailing wind.
7. Let ideas percolate, remembering that time is on your side and people will only accept change at a rate they can tolerate.
8. Raise the temperature by allowing worthy and healthy conflict to come to the surface not be squelched.
9. Give grief room as people mourn the losses – often very personal – that often come with change.
10. Create the quest – if people believe they are needed in a journey which will result in a great new future, a journey that will require the best of them, you can call out their better selves and insure maximum discretional effort. Remember that the Secret Sauce is found in the process itself!
How many of these ‘commandments’ are being practiced in your organization? If you are looking to lead an important change initiative, having these in place is particularly important.
Give us a couple of minutes to check out this video on TAG’s organizational change process to get some inspiration, ideas, and to see how we can help you build an organization that wins and engages both its employees and customers!