How Company Culture Eats Strategy For Breakfast

Every GM has at some point the passion and desire to make changes for the better in their property. Whether this is a small move or a sizeable Capex project it’s rare that change doesn’t take place unless clear benefits are discussed and agreed in advance. We’ve all been in the meeting where change is scoped out, and all support required offered and agreed. 

But how can even the simplest change slip of the rails and cause more problems than you started with?

Neglecting Stakeholder Engagement:

Transformation affects a variety of stakeholders. Their engagement, input, and concerns are crucial for the process to be successful and sustainable. It’s key that all stakeholders provide the support they agreed to.

Failure to Iterate and Adapt: Transformation efforts should be flexible. Learning, iterating, and adapting during the implementation of changes is key to overcoming unforeseen challenges and ensuring success.

Lack of Future-Proofing:

Designing transformation with the future in mind is essential. If not, the transformation may quickly become outdated and fail to deliver the desired long-term benefits. Additionally, other factors like leadership commitment, adequate resources, effective change management, alignment with organisational culture, clear goals and metrics, effective communication, and adequate training and support are also vital for a successful transformation.

Change is too quick.

How often have you heard – “…skipping steps to create an illusion of speed .. never produces a satisfying result…” accompanied by “… paralysed senior management often comes from having too many managers and not enough leaders..”.

Removing blockers / impediments in a manner that does not demoralise cross-functional team members involves relatively good understanding of the organisations business and tech ecosystems and calls for leadership by example rather than management from an ivory tower.

Organisational transformation efforts rarely fail because of lack of sufficient attention to the transition from the old organization to the new one. One overarching reason is that leaders typically fail to acknowledge that large-scale change can take years

According to McKinsey & Company, 70% of transformations fail. Contributing factors include insufficiently high aspirations, a lack of engagement within the organisation, and insufficient investment to sustain the change, among others.

Communicate Change to Everyone

Communicating change throughout your business by using your fully onboarded managers as change agents is key. The message needs to outline the benefits to both the individual and the business along with what the key objectives are required to be achieved.

Avoid Silent Terrorists

Despite getting the buy in from all key stakeholders, actions invariably speak louder than words. If stakeholders begin to drag their feet within the scope of change, it’s not always noticeable, or you can receive a swathe of excuses that greatly slows down progress. It’s key at this stage that the said stakeholder be removed from the project or removed from the business. Failure to do so will deliver change failure and a reset to a pre change status, the point at which change was initially agreed!

You Set the Culture.

As the leader in your business you set the culture that supports the change. Weakness in the leader is perhaps too strong a word to describe managing stakeholder efficiency but it’s key that you do this. Be aware that part of the change may actually include change of the people.


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