One of the keys to making a permanent culture shift in your organization is, simply put, INFLUENCE!
As the leader of your organization, you have the most direct impact in making a change in the culture of your organization. Author, speaker, and leadership guru, John Maxwell states, “Leadership is influence. Nothing more, nothing less.” The success of the culture shift in your organization is directly related to the influence that you bring to that culture shift.
In my two previous posts on culture shift, you were asked to make a list of what your current culture is like, and what the new culture would be like that you will create in your organization. Now, it is time to influence the change.
In the book Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change, the authors suggest that influencing change can be brought about by the following three things:
- A clear understanding of the result you are looking for AND meticulous measuring of what leads to that result. Leaders who influence change know exactly what they are looking for and they constantly and consistently measure the factors that lead to those results.
- A focus on high leverage behaviors that will provide those results. In a world that is so full of information and distraction, it is easy to get lost in a long list of behaviors that will produce results. However, it is important to focus on just the 2-3 vital behaviors that will produce the results you desire from the new culture.
- Engagement of all six sources of influence. While most leaders and speakers resort to one or two types of influence, successful culture shift leaders engage their organization with all six sources of influence.
What, then, are the six sources of influence that are described in the book Influencer? The six sources are found within the 2 by 3 grid diagram that the authors suggest. They include both a motivation aspect and an ability aspect within three areas of life: personal, social, and structural. The authors diagram found throughout their book gives the following statements about the six sources of influence.
- “Make the Undesirable Desirable.” Successful change influencers motivate at the personal level by helping the individual members of the organization to “love what they hate.” Culture shift happens at the personal level when individuals begin to love a new behavior.
- “Surpass Your Limits.” Successful change influencers help to develop new skill sets at the personal level by helping the individual members of the organization to “do what they can’t.” In other words, provide training that develops the new desired skill set. This builds confidence in the individual so that they realize they CAN do what is required of them in the culture shift.
- “Harness Peer Pressure.” Successful change influencers motivate at the group, or social, level by providing encouragement and utilizing peer pressure to help further motivate the culture shift. There is nothing more motivating that hearing from your peers that you are doing a great job in this new endeavor. As people are encouraged, they also become encouragers – and peer pressure helps to drive the culture shift.
- “Find Strength in Numbers.” Successful change influencers provide assistance to the individual members of the organization. They begin to find strength in the team and realize that they are not alone in this culture shift.
- “Design Rewards and Demand Accountability.” Successful change influencers motivate at the structural level by developing a new set of rewards and accountability based upon the new behaviors that will provide the new desirable result. A new structure that is designed to provide the new desired results is implemented and a new accountability structure is set in place. These organizational structures provide a motivation to the individuals in the organization to live out the new behaviors that lead to the desired results.
- “Change the Environment.” Finally, successful change influencers recognize that the physical environment of the organization needs to model the new behaviors needed to get the new results. Signs need changed, bulletin board announcements need changed, and perhaps a new logo, slogan, or even physical facility changes need to happen to support the new culture. Creativity is used in visually reminding the members of the organization what the new result is you are creating.
To quote another famous phrase from John Maxwell, “everything rises and falls on leadership.” You are the leader. It is up to you to influence the necessary changes within your organization. Get started right now and lead your organization to a new and better future by changing its culture through a culture shift!
ACTION POINT: Influence Exercise
- Using the two worksheets from my previous posts in this series (part one, part two), write out another list of ways to influence the needed change. On a new sheet of paper, list the result that you are looking to achieve with your culture shift, how you are going to measure the factors (actions) that lead to that result, and the 2-3 key behaviors that will bring about that result.
- Write out actions steps for each of the six sources of influence within your organization. Then, take action at ALL six levels. You will find you have a tenfold result as opposed to utilizing just one source of influence.
- Finally, consider hiring a coach to help guide you through the process. A coach can help you to become more focused by providing an outside look into your organization and the changes that you want to create through your culture shift. I would love to be a resource to help you in creating a culture shift within your organization. Contact me and we can discuss a customized approach for your organization while working within your budget.
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