• http://rallyyourgoals.com/ r/ally

    I think an added “Step” in organizational change is bringing fresh blood to the organization. Companies need to escape the “this is the way we do things” mentality before you can start change. Sounds trivial I know, but when you have long time employees who are comfortable with doing something in a particular way, say, using a piece of software for the last 10 years (with updates of course, but not always), bringing in someone who isnt engrained in the culture may be the only way to move change along.

    • Tim Kuppler

      Excellent point and often just 1-2 changes in personnel can make a big difference but you can judge people incorrectly if the organization is not clear and aligned. The lack of clarity is impacting their behavior and performance since many are frustrated with the lack of a coordinated effort. I always liked meeting with long-service employees and integrating some of their top ideas to break through the “this is the way we do things” attitude. Many of the nay-sayers and skeptics come on board as your greatest advocates when momentum builds and then the people that will not fit stand out even more visibly to their peers (and not just the top leaders). If there is a big competence issue then make a change fast – very fast to build credibility. If it’s behavior issue and not competence then I suggest giving some time to build momentum with EXTREMELY constructive action and coaching so they have every opportunity to come on board (and everyone sees the constructive approach you are using).

      • Norman Jentner

        I like your sensitivity to perhaps letting the wrong people go, inadvertantly, Tim.

        That fresh blood may also, sometimes, need to be top leadership, for at least one of two issues I mention in my comment, above, and attempt to describe more clearly in my comment to Part 1 of this 2-part blog.

        I welcome your comments to that,Tim, as well, if you care to.


    • anirud

      Your point is not trivial but important I think. Even for incremental changes, you need to infuse some new blood to bring in new attitudes and showcase the behavs/attitudes that are valued. Secondly, much of the time middle managers are ill-equipped to deal with changes (psychologically and competence-wise). They need help in that regard.
      I want to add one more point here. The “steps” approach to change does not work if in sequence. Most successful change efforts have many of the steps running in parallel, and top managers need to be aware of how stressful and time consuming that can be as they will be called upon all too frequently to resolve conflicts, keep people motivated and negotiate with external stakeholders.
      Most importantly, if people do not do you in, resource scarcity will. The paradox is that change is most needed when resources are getting depleted but you need resources to effect quick change. So any change effort must plan for this- how do I carry this out in the face of adversity?

      • Tim Kuppler

        Great points. The “step” approach is only intended to provide a framework and you are absolutely correct about these and other details being managed in parallel. The resource scarcity problem is a major hurdle so that’s why focusing on adjusting current strategies / plans for a top performance priority that’s already consuming the time of the team is far better than any general culture plans or additional action plans.

  • Norman Jentner


    Your clarity is refreshing. and I gotta say your book is even clearer (of course)!

    You ask, “Do you think organizations waste time on programs and silver bullets instead of building a strong culture foundation?”

    My response is, “Yes, many times they do. And there can be two basic reasons why.

    The first reason is as you state: They have no clear culture change guide to follow. That is, they lack information. Your books are great anecdotes to this lack of information.

    The second reason is less informational and more psychological.

    I have attempted to describe this psychological phenomenon in my (now revised) comment to part 1 of this 2-part blog.

    This psychological phenomenon will relate most directly, and negatively sometimes, to your Step 8, above.

    I would welcome your review of and response to my revised comment in Part 1.



    • Tim Kuppler

      Thank you Norman. I appreciate your feedback on this content and the book (thank you for purchasing!). I responded to your other post about the psychological phenomenon and I don’t think I can provide a thoughtful response through blog posts. Your analysis is pretty deep but I would be happy to discuss it further. Send me a note if you are interested and we can connect by phone. Thanks again for your feedback.

  • http://www.bensimonton.com/ Ben Simonton

    You asked what approach we use. Here is mine.

    The culture we all want is one that reflects the highest standards of
    all the good things like industriousness, openness, honesty, respect,
    performance, integrity, commitment, caring, cooperation, collaboration,
    motivation, morale, happiness, quality, safety, and the like.
    Fortunately, this culture is what every human wants to be a part of and
    to work in and won’t want to leave. Most importantly, almost all will
    help to create such a culture.

    Now for the big question. Who lives in the culture every minute of
    every day and is better,able to judge how good it is? The answer is not
    top management or mid-level management because they are not the ones
    living with it every minute and are not good judges. The answer is the
    working level people. The reason they are better judges is because they
    still use their gut to judge while most educated people erroneously
    think they can use their reasoning brain to figure out how good
    something is.

    So, in order to create the very best culture, management listens to
    employee complaints and suggestions and then responds to what was said
    in a timely and respectful manner to the satisfaction of the employee(s)
    or better meaning to a higher standard. The more management does this,
    the more employees will object to anything not meeting the highest
    standards in any way. In so doing, management will have demonstrated the
    greatest respect for employees thus leading them to treat their work,
    their customers, each other, and their bosses with great respect.

    Once employees realize this will always be done, they realize that
    they can influence everything in the workplace. This ability to
    influence everything begets a sense of ownership – that this is just as
    much their workplace as it is anyone’s. In the same way, a sense of
    ownership begets commitment. This process will also satisfy the
    employee’s needs to have autonomy, competence, and relatedness and with
    all needs satisfied, they will choose to become fully engaged and self-managed.

    This is the culture that will vault any company to being best in its industry.

    Of course, management can decide that its job is to direct and
    control the workforce. In this way management will create a workplace
    characterized by disrespect and poor performance. Then management can
    blame employees when in truth management was the cause. Management’s failure to understand its proper role is the reason why culture is such a big problem.

    I agree the much time is wasted on programs and silver bullets as well as lots of other things.

    Best regards, Ben

  • sami

    Greta point .I really appreciated you.I t is helpful for organization Sounds trivial I know, but when you have long time employees who are comfortable with doing something in a particular way, say, using a piece of software for the last 10 years (with updates of course, but not always), bringing in someone who isnt engrained in the culture may be the only way to move change along.


  • Ntombiyamasiko

    the presentation is good and easy to understand thank you

  • Ntombiyamasiko

    so the steps of managing are same as the ways of managing culture

  • Stephanie Ballard

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I’m currently in a PhD program in business psychology with an emphasis in consulting and I am growing increasingly interested in organizational culture. I appreciate the posts regarding the importance of bringing in people with varying perspectives and unbiased opinions as many times consultants play this role. Hypothetically, if those individuals following your steps were not able to come to an agreement on what their ‘organizational culture’ was what would you suggest? In my research I have found that one of the problems in organizational culture is a lack of vision; however, if this vision is not agreed upon where do you go from there?