"Now the board is involved"...
Hearing these words may frighten some CEOs and most certainly leadership teams. However, the way I see it, it is a much-needed refresh to corporations all over the world. What is the board getting involved in? Company culture. That’s right. They are starting to care about more than just the strategy, innovation and the bottom line. What do I have to say about that? It’s about time!
I have been in Organizational Change / Transformational Change for 25 years, before it was even called that. I grew up in the Business Transformation field when people used to say, “Training was the first thing cut from the budget”. I can honestly (and thankfully) say I haven’t heard that from people I work with (our clients) for probably 20 years. Now, I am often asked “Isn’t change management cut from the budget first? Isn’t it hard to prove the value of change readiness & culture to executives?” Companies and executives who still say it’s hard to prove the value of change management and an effective change culture are not truly on the leading edge of transformational change and frankly they just “don’t get it”.
Change management directly impacts culture and it is hitting us square in the face of our competitive business landscape where companies are fighting for great talent, talent that will help them execute their strategy, help them become innovative and drive improved bottom line profits. If you don’t have a “culture of good” everything will be harder: recruiting and retaining top talent, achieving your strategic goals; boosting your bottom line; gaining more market share; delighting and engaging your customers; successfully going through transformational change, which by the way, everyone is attempting. Yes, ALL of these things are impacted by your culture. And if you don’t have a good culture, you will become irrelevant. With the staggering statistic that 75% of employees are unhappy or disengaged at work which is causing a loss in US companies of over 450 billion dollars in productivity, it would only be prudent for boards to now get involved. And it is not just about conducting an employee engagement survey, the disengaged numbers are not going down fast enough, so clearly a survey without action is not working.
Next time your company is not performing the way you expect, check your culture, you may be surprised to see it’s a large contributing factor. Be on the leading edge. Join the club of successful leaders who “get it” and understand the importance of culture as it relates to transformational change and successful business results. Having a good culture is paramount to any transformational change and should be considered as a foundational element to your success. Don’t become part of the statistic. Be proactive before your board feels they must get involved.