What is organisational culture? A practical way to think of it is as 'habits and norms' – how we do things, again and again.
Sometimes being stuck in these habits and norms is helpful – things are stable. At other times these habits and norms can get in the way: whatever we do to make improvements, things just go back to the way they were. This can be very frustrating.
The art of leadership is knowing when stability is a good thing, and when things are stuck. And doing what is needed to preserve stability, or to help unstick things.
These habits and norms show up in stories and rituals. In systems and procedures (and in the way people get around these too!). And they show up in behaviour – most obviously in how we to talk to each other.
By changing the way they speak, and how they listen, leaders can start to shift these habits and norms. This affects other people, and new stories and rituals may emerge.
Leaders can also create space for new kinds of conversations – by, for example, stopping conversations that go round and round. Instead encouraging real understanding, concrete proposals, and decisions that everyone supports.
Over time people's behaviour changes too. Enquiry into habits and norms can build participation and belonging – leading to increased well-being, productivity, resilience and growth. And ultimately, this leads to new, more positive results for the organisation.
None of this is rocket-science. You can do it all yourself. In fact, it's yours to do – people outside your organisation can only do so much. But if you would like some support, or to learn more, please feel free to get in touch, using the details above.