Cultural Change

Shifting the silent language


Edgar Schein identified three distinct levels in organisational culture in 2004: artifacts and behaviours, espoused values, and assumptions.

Culture can be summarised as shared, pervasive enduring and implicit. It is the collective behaviours, physical environments, group rituals, visible symbols, stories, mindsets, motivations, unspoken assumptions and ‘kind of silent language’ (HBR 2018). It evolves flexibly and autonomously. It is the tacit social order of an organisation. Cultural norms define what is encouraged, discouraged, accepted, or rejected within a group.

Not surprisingly, it is also the most difficult thing to change.

As Lou Gerstner, former CEO of IBM, wrote: “Until I came to IBM, I probably would have told you that culture was just one among several important elements in any organisation’s makeup and success — along with vision, strategy, marketing, financials, and the like… I came to see, in my time at IBM, that culture isn’t just one aspect of the game, it is the game. In the end, an organisation is nothing more than the collective capacity of its people to create value”.

At Space2BE we are brimming with broad and deep experience of cultural change. There is no single solution. It requires a multi-faceted approach, a range of skills, capabilities and interventions, an agile philosophy and a mindful hand on the tiller. Each organisation requires a different journey, hands-on consultancy and development support.

The impact of our work in this area is directly seen in the results of your business: greater employee engagement, enhanced capability, increased efficiency, greater strategic focus, aligned leadership, effective problem-solving, an empowered workforce, happier customers, and stronger financial outcomes.

Karen has been working with the Dogs for Good management team over the past year, supporting the development of coaching skills through training and one-to-one sessions. Karen is an excellent communicator with the capacity to take people on a skills development journey in a thought-provoking way but non-threatening way. We are clear about the management culture we want to create at Dogs for Good, but arriving at our destination takes significant training and support. Karen and her team have the trust of the whole team and as a result, we are making great progress towards our goal. I would highly recommend Karen and her team of associates – they will add-value to your organisation and deliver great outcomes. The employee engagement experience definitely enhanced our understanding and commitment to the oncoming change.

CEO - Dogs for Good Charity

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