Culture is one of those fancy corporate words that people can get glossy-eyed over. To me, culture just means how people consistently behave, the kinds of decisions they consistently make, and the way they consistently communicate. In other words, culture is about the reality of your workplace. It’s not what you want it to be, but rather what it actually is right now.
If you want to change your organization’s culture, here are three steps that I recommend:
First, write down very clearly the type of culture you want in terms of people’s behaviors, decisions, and communications. For example, do you want your employees to be polite or aggressive, do you want communications to be succinct or in-depth arguments that challenge the status quo, and do you want people to make quick decisions or well-researched, informed decisions?
Second, after you clarify in your own mind, or in the minds of the executive team that arrived at the answer through a collaborative discussion, then you need to clearly communicate the desired culture to everyone in your organization. This may require a series of individual, small group, and large group discussions.
Third, to guide the organization toward the desired culture you will need to reinforce what you are looking for through providing positive and negative consequences for your current employees and through the hiring decisions you make.