Why Business Leaders Should Not Support/Sponsor Their Organization’s Culture Change Effort…
I would NOT expect most business leaders to support the organizational change efforts that “HR” typically implements… neither should you. Most culture change strategies are like “hollow chocolate bunnies” not solid ones.
CHROs/CPOs don’t like hearing that. At the end of this article I will suggest that there is a more effective solid “chocolate bunny” emerging trend — 5 predictions that CHRO/CPOs love, because it makes culture change a whole lot easier and more rewarding.
At the same time, I tell the CHRO/CPO themselves to be careful… “whatever you do, do NOT accept personal responsibility for those so-called enterprise-wide, optimistic transformation outcomes that are listed in that multi-year charter being used to justify the org transformation funding; it is a CHRO/CPO trap.”
CHROs/CPOs also don’t like hearing their fellow business leaders say:
“This culture change stuff is too soft — it’s too touchy feely — we don’t have time for this.”
The Exec/BU leader is usually right though (usually but not always)— most culture change efforts are outdated and approach it like an engagement task force, a “happiness committee” and/or like a typical change management + internal communications project. I’m not against those things per se — but they are not effective when it comes to strategic culture change. I’m not suggesting that the other business leaders know what to do about it either — but they sure do know a distraction when they see one AND they’ve tasted the emptiness and disappointment of the hollow “chocolate bunny” culture change plan enough times to know better than try it again.
Of course they/we all have good intentions, but don’t waste your time, money and attention on most of today’s culture initiatives. You or I might argue… “but at least they are trying something — it is better than nothing — they are doing their best.” No. These outdated/less effective culture change approaches create backfire effects and perpetuate the BS and the culture change myths that inculcate the status quo. Myths…