Key Learnings From This Episode
- What is the meaning of Culture in 4D? Culture in 4d is the outline or the process for leading culture change. Each D stands for one step in the process.
- Dream it
- Develop it
- Design it
- Defend it
- Why culture matters. The most important thing to keep in mind with culture is that culture is the soil in which everything within the organization lives and dies. If you don’t have the culture to support your plans or what it is you are trying to execute, you will fail or fail to get the results that you could get if your culture was aligned with what you were trying to create. The culture has to support what an organization is trying to build.
Tony gives an example of a recent consulting engagement involving middle managers who were perceived to be myopic and non-strategic in their thinking. From interviews with the managers, Tony learned that strategic discussions occurred at the executive level where information was hoarded and slowly trickled down. Because the culture did not support the free flow and sharing of information about vision and strategy, the behavior and skills of middle managers could not change. Training them to be strategic would have been premature or unnecessary as long as the culture issue remained unaddressed.
- How engagement is linked to culture. Engagement is directly aligned with culture. A common mistake many people make is not going through the process of figuring out how to engage the person you are trying to engage. When we make assumptions about what employees want, engagement is unlikely to go up. By turning the engagement experience over to employees, it allows them to help design the relational and operational aspects of culture. How communication will take place, who will make decisions, etc. It shifts accountability and ownership for the organization’s culture, which in turn creates more buy-in and ultimately increases engagement.
- How can HR make the case for engaging employees in the culture change? Tony proposed two imperatives. If you want to change the world, start where you are and work your way out:
- Examine your own house first. Create the culture in your own team that you want to see organization-wide. E.g. Create a ‘drama-free” zone by defining the process that will be used to deal with emotions.
- Make the business case with clarity. As HR professionals, we have to become experts at describing the value of culture and people processes at the same level the CFO explains finances. Describe how culture impacts performance. Describe why you want to have a certain kind of culture in a language that anyone can understand.
- Bridging the gap between operations & HR. Prior to HR, Tony held operations roles. This has allowed him to successfully bridge the gap between operations and HR people. He is able to understand what goes on in the minds of customers and understands how HR brings value, moving HR from transactional to strategic input and applying data to the process of effecting change. As a culture architect, Tony uses data to drive cultural change. This allows him to get away from his gut feeling and to depersonalize the information. Tony has been a part of various mergers and seen first-hand the importance of the ability to align cultures. This determines whether you see the results you are looking for.
- A key learning from Culture in 4D. Leaders often see culture as soft. They may or may not see the importance of it. If they do see the importance of it, they might not know where to start. 4D provides a simple process for creating a culture you want. Organizations that pay attention to culture will outperform their peers.
Recommended Reading and References From this Episode
- Culture in 4D: The Blueprint for a Culture of Engagement, Ownership, and Bottom-Line Performance by Tony Moore. "Culture in 4D" empowers readers to take control of the work experience by engaging employees in a process where they Dream, Design, Develop, and Defend the desired culture. The result of this process brings individual and collective ownership for both culture and business outcomes to the forefront.
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