How to Change the Culture of an Organization | Prasad Kaipa
About Prasad Kaipa
Prasad has been an advisor and coach focusing on innovation and leadership since 1990 for about 120 C-level executives in Global Fortune 500 companies. Prasad’s unique competence is in helping his clients find their next significant step and take it. He found that unless he helps clients to examine their signature strengths that have turned into “core incompetence” and kept them stuck, it is difficult to ignite and channel their creativity to come up with innovative decisions, products, and services. He assists clients in becoming effective in managing people as well as oneself (personal mastery), getting reenergized and building new capacities, and exploring more risk taking, innovative, and strategic decisions.
Interview Transcript of: How to Change the Culture of an Organization | Prasad Kaipa
There are two different perspectives, we think, one, if the organization wants to change the culture, that means people who are the part of the team want to change the culture, their approach is going to be very different. If the top management team or if the CFO wants to change the organizational culture, there is a different path. Let me start with the second one. If a CFO wants to change the culture, I found majority of the time, the CFO has to watch his or her actions a lot more carefully, and find a way in which those actions are correlating with the words. Reason for that is not only the management team, people two levels below three levels below, who do not have direct access to the CFO, they only see the actions of the CFO, they may not exactly know the words of this in the world. So if there is consistency between actions and words, that begins to generate a certain trust, and a certain willingness to follow the leader. I think that is one very, very important part. And I found, that’s the one that is most neglected by very intellectual, very capable CEOs. Without walking the park, the culture change is going to be very temporary, it will be forced. The second thing I found about changing the culture is willingness to be vulnerable. To say, I don’t know, I need help. And can you help me so that we can both go much faster when you raise these questions I found, and by the way, these are the difficult things for CEUs to raise, because the ego and also how other people are waiting to take advantage of the vulnerability, all those situations do happen. But if there is courage, to really confront one’s own fears, like wherever the person says, that’s not going to happen. If you can open that up, and make other people to help you, then they start taking ownership in the area where you have witnessed, majority of the times people know who is in charge, only problem is that, in addition to the CFO, everybody else is also in charge, and you need to help them to take ownership and accountability and responsibility for when the team begins to take responsibility for the culture change, not just the top top dog or top CEO, then you have 10 times the sustainability for the culture change to number one happen, and number two, become sustainable over a period of time. So the last point, which will also say, is appreciation, you have to figure out how to catch people doing something right. Because more you appreciate people who are doing what needs to be done. That means if some people are demonstrating the behavior you want in a change culture, make them the role models, amplify their behavior, let what they are doing to be seen by other people like Alan Mulally, I have seen him do that consistently in a 777 culture in, you know, making that to be an extraordinary program when compared to Boeing. So, first, certain amount of role modeling, walking the talk. Number two vulnerability, and willingness to make other people take responsibility and accountability. And third, appreciating what you see as a changed behavior and amplifying it so that other people recognize Ah, if the CFO is appreciating this behavior, we also want to be appreciated. So we will begin to do it. Like somebody said, it’s easier to catch flies with honey than with vinegar. So cultures chain is a very powerful thing that happens through a lot more appreciative inquiry and honesty and authenticity, rather than forced change.
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