If you are in any leadership capacity within any organizational structure, it behooves you to have at least a cursory understanding of Organization Behavior tenets. In other places it may be referred to Industrial Psychology or other such terms, but they all refer to how an organization behaves both in a macro and micro level. How people react individually within company settings, how people interact with one another, and how the company as a whole reacts, are all components involved in the studies of Organizational Behavior.
Dating back to Plato, where in his frustration with the Grecian leadership at the time, quite successfully described in his ‘Essence of Leadership” the qualities of effective leaders and persuasive communication. Since that time many have applied the techniques of science to better describe the working environment. The goal of all of theses social sciences is to attempt to predict, explain, and control the outcome thereby generating controversy over the ethics of ‘controlling’ workers behavior.
Understanding these principles gives a person no more control over another any more than understanding mob psychology can help a policeman control a riot. Yet just like the policeman, a leader with understanding could predict possible outcomes when certain variables are introduced. Utilizing this knowledge along with effective communication can help bond a group into a cohesive team that will willingly move toward a common goal.
There are many modern models available to research from the Carnegie School of thought to the Arbinger’s Institute where studies in self-deception are the focus. Remember that no one model is perfect and that every company must be selective in what they try to implement. Submitted here are the 7 ‘C’s to developing a change in any corporate culture.
“Once a CHANGE PROCESS is started, leaders must be committed to obtaining the END RESULTS…..”
Don’t start any change process unless leadership is committed to the end result. There is nothing more demoralizing to a workforce than to have change imposed for the sake of change. Make sure that it is understood by everyone in leadership that there is a goal and commitment to that goal is expected and accountable.
What is the root cause of why leadership would want to change a corporate culture? Bad employees or bad processes. It is the difference between pruning a bush or tying it to a support to help it grow. Make sure you understand the implications before you begin.
Describe the goal, why the goal is necessary, and what benefits are realized when the goal is achieved. Sell it, and keep on selling it.
Make sure that what you are trying to implement fits the organizational structure. Trying to implement LEAN manufacturing techniques in a telemarketing office is probably not a good fit. That doesn’t mean that trimming non-value-added portions of a telemarketing process is not an obtainable goal, it does mean that configuring the model to fit the environment is paramount.
Understand the change process and how it affects people. Learn to be able to identify where individuals and groups are along the change process and help them get to the next level.
As a leader you cannot waiver from the road. You must see the goal and help others to visualize where it lies. Whether your style is militaristic (there’s the hill, let’s take it), or encouraging (I can see the top, we can make it, you can do it), you are the keeper of the objective. Stay the course.
Reward those who promote the new environment and celebrate as a whole when you reach significant milestones. The people involved will make or break the attempt, make sure they understand just how important they are to the process.
Gaining insight and information on Organization Behavior is the first step in charting a course for the culture you wish to encourage. Success will depend on the quality and style of the leadership skills you possess. Do you all you can to become a better and more effective leader and people will naturally begin to follow you. Learn all you can about Organizational Behavior and you’ll be able to avoid many storms along the way.
John W. Wright III
Mountain Skies Business Consulting
20/20 Vision in a Bifocal World