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Steps to Manage Culture

As a follow-on to the article Set, See, and Share Your Vision these steps are easy to follow. There are many different ways to complete these steps, pick the ways that fit your organization best.

Actively Manage your culture

When taking time to manage your culture you can follow these four steps:

  1. Define the Desired Characteristics

  2. Determine the Current Culture

  3. Brainstorm Opportunities

  4. Create an Action Plan

1. Define the Desired Characteristics

How do you want the culture to look and feel?

What are the common beliefs and values you want to be shared? Things to consider here are organizational structure, formality, tone. There are many dimensions to consider. Try to get as clear a picture as you can before you move to the next step. Knowing where you want to be, is very powerful during this process.

2. Determine the Current Culture

What is it like in the current culture?

Observe how people interact, work, and connect. A good way to figure out how they feel is to ask them. Getting honest feedback can be difficult, and using third-party to ask questions, collect responses and analyze data can be very helpful here. Some dimensions to assess are:

· Innovation

· Interpersonal Relationships

· Learning, Growth, and Advancement

· Trust

3. Brainstorm Opportunities

How are you going to make the changes from the current culture to the desired culture?

Now you have two clear pictures. One of the cultures you want, and one of the current cultures. This is the step where you brainstorm ideas that will bridge the gaps. Researching companies that have similar characteristics to those you desire could be helpful. Perhaps policies need to be reviewed. Meetings and discussions will need to take place. Consider the office layout or how the team interacts.

4. Create an Action Plan

What can you do, and what will you do?

During this step, determine costs and benefits of the ideas. Decide what are the best options to pursue. Then put them in order, create a plan, and put it into action. Remember that, depending on the degree of change, there may be resistance. Communicate early and often about the changes. Actively manage and address concerns as they arise.

The Importance of Managing Company Culture

Actively managing company culture is now arguably more important than it was pre-pandemic and can have very positive results. Change and uncertainty are stressful. It is important to keep your employees engaged and help them understand that they have an impact and are part of a shared vision. Keeping this engagement with employees will help them be happier and decrease turnover and other negative effects of poorly managed culture. If you haven’t already, it is time to start thinking strategically and start managing your company’s culture.

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