7 top tips for cultural transformation

From getting CEO and top-team buy-in to communicating your vision with clarity and strength. Cultural transformation takes work. 

“Culture Change is risky. But believe in it. Support it. Advocate for it. Don’t be afraid to rethink, reset. Challenge the status quo.”

Culture change can be daunting. But leaders of the most transformational companies in history and today had an unwavering belief that culture was THE thing that was getting in the way of change. And while it was a risk to do, it was a greater risk not to do. These tips come from companies that have led successful cultural transformations.

1: Start with the CEO

When it comes to culture change, CEOS need to lead the charge. They must be champions of change. Own it 100%. Make sure their conviction, their passion is unshakable. Their leadership is the way you’ll succeed.

2: Get the top team on board

Get the top team behind you. Their passion must equal your CEOs. Together they need to define the ‘to be’ culture. Give them space and support to develop their own motivation for change.

3: Be specific

Be clear. Be specific. Be focussed. Communicate your vision in strong but simple terms. Leaving room for interpretation results in confusion. Define what does and doesn’t need to change. Then build a concrete plan for achieving it.

4: Tap into your influencers

Rely on champions. Key people to spread your message. Whether formal or informal. Influencers will get your message across to the rest of the business.

5: Create that “aha” moment

People will be slow to change. They’ll cling on to their assumptions. Unless they can see the benefits. For them. For their goals. For the business. Inspire. Excite. Spark. Create “aha” moments. They’re the catalyst for change.

6: Re-wire your talent processes

Align your talent processes to your new culture. Match expectations and measures. Evolve KPIs. Rethink reward structures. Incentivize your people. This alone won’t create change. Or forge the new culture. But it's critical for sustaining it.

7: Be bold

Culture Change is risky. But believe in it. Support it. Advocate for it. Don’t be afraid to rethink, reset. Challenge the status quo. Build something better. Something that grows with the business. The results can be phenomenal.