Cultural Change Initiatives

Purpose

To support organization cultural change efforts.

Organizations increasingly recognize the need for creating cultures that are more flexible and responsive to the pace of change created by technology, competition and the expectations of constituents, customers and regulators. In the best of these efforts, sophisticated approaches are used to create as much buy-in as possible at all levels of the organizations. Often, this requires a deep reevaluation of the leader-follower dynamics typical in hierarchical organizations.

A lack of sufficient upward communication can deny leaders the essential information they need to make optimum decisions. Yet these same leaders often inadvertently reinforce the old cultural norms that view open, upward feedback as unwelcome and risky. Cultural change efforts greatly benefit from processes that help staff at every level of an organization create the conditions that support the open flow of information, even when the information traveling upwards may not be what senior executives prefer to hear.

Objectives

Create true partnership between all organization levels

Transform the cynicism that undermines cultural change into a high degree of synergy

Provide senior organization leaders with the awareness and skills to both model and develop the desired behaviors of true partnership

Detect and avoid costly mistakes by creating a culture that encourages responsible divergent views and examines them seriously for merit

Create a culture of service to the organizational mission and its core values as the highest loyalt

Methodology

Working with the organization’s cultural change team, we will construct a design that supports the strategic effort. Elements of the design typically include the following:

Interview senior executives to identify values and goals

Conduct focus groups to identify which leadership practices support these values and goals and which practices work against them

Facilitate a senior executive conversation to raise awareness of the consequences of individual and collective blind spots in relation to their values and goals. Develop norms of behavior that significantly reduce these consequences

Support the development of these norms through individual and team coaching as needed

Introduce the values, concepts and skills of Courageous Follower/Courageous Leader behaviors to middle management through workshops and follow up reinforcement sessions

In large organizations create a cascade model to introduce the values and concepts of Courageous Followership to the rest of the organization using a combination of certified internal facilitators and mid-level managers who have been given additional coaching on the skills of Courageous Followership/Courageous Leadership

Build into the on-boarding process for new personnel a live or electronic module that instills the values and concepts of courageous followership in order to sustain the culture of leader/follower partnership at all levels

Facilitator

Ira Chaleff is the author of the book, The Courageous Follower: Standing Up To and For Our Leaders and co-editor of the book The Art of Followership: How Great Followers Make Great Leaders and Organizations. He has designed and supported cultural change initiatives for a wide range of private sector, non-profit and government organizations. When not personally available, Ira will make referrals to other facilitators qualified to lead courageous follower initiatives in support of larger cultural change efforts.

Length

The introduction of Courageous Follower/Courageous Leader behaviors to support cultural change processes typically requires several months and up to half a year.

Costs

Costs are based on our day rate with variables for customization, travel and other factors. Quotes will be provided once a project has been appropriately scoped and its needs determined.