Shifting the culture of a team

 In Culture

Shifting the culture of a team

Culture change is often essential for organisations looking to be more innovative and agile. The most difficult part of a transformation is creating and maintaining long-term changes. If your company has been focused on efficiency and operational predictability, innovation and agility will require new behaviours from employees.

Culture change cannot be achieved by a mandate. It is the collective heart and habits of your team members, and their shared vision of “how things work around here.” Authority can make you comply, but not optimism, trust, or conviction.

Because hybrid and anywhere-work is not always possible, it is important to focus on the behaviour that will ultimately feed your desired culture regardless of where they are physically located.

Culture change is not something that can be done overnight. People are deeply ingrained in their behaviours and to move your employees towards the vision you have, it is important to understand what motivates them.


1. Define the from-to

Every organisation is different. Each organisation is unique and requires a unique culture in order to support the agile operating model. Aspirational goals should guide organisations in building an agile culture. It is also important to assess the current culture and identify the behaviours that are hindering the delivery of business results.

2. Personalise it

It is important to make the change personal and meaningful for employees. Leaders must give their employees the freedom and support they need to define the agile mindset. This will allow them to move from the organisational frontier to the personal frontier. These will be different for senior leaders, middle managers, as well as frontline staff and could have different implications. Invite colleagues to share their personal stories and experiences in order to build transformational momentum.

Leaders learned to see how their personal mindsets, thoughts and feelings affected the design architecture and culture in the organisations they lead. This realisation highlights the importance of personal transformation as a key component to successful change programs. Leaders make an organisation. Their thinking, decisions and behaviour affect every aspect of it.

3. Culture engineer architecture

Even the most well-designed culture programs may fail if the environment does not support, or worse, hinder new behaviours and mindsets. The structures, processes, technology, and infrastructure must be changed to accommodate new behaviours in order to sustain a culture change. The desired culture change must be embedded in all aspects of the business as-usual and the transformation to ensure its success.

4. Keep an eye out for opportunities to learn

Agile working is all about continuous learning and improvement. This principle is also applicable to agile culture. It has been proven that successful agile transformations include monitoring progress, evaluating behaviour change and its impact on performance, as well as running regular retrospectives to learn and improve from failures and successes. But measuring behavioural change is a problem.

Cultural factors are critical for all organisational transformations. Changes in structure, technology, and processes can help organisations become agile. They cannot be agile if they don’t change the way people work and interact every day. A fundamental cultural shift is required to enable agile transformation. Learn from the experiences of organisations that have made this change and give your peers a head start on your own journey to transformation.

Last Thoughts

People and their engagement in the work they do are now more important than ever before. Tomorrow’s winners will be those who reinvent their HR Teams in order to create more strategic, holistic, and cohesive Teams.

This is an exciting time to work in the space. Every month I see major innovation and am inspired by the different approaches companies take to this change. Our team will continue to write blog posts over the next few months about how we structure our team and how we approach our programs and initiatives.

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