Culture and Behaviour Change

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Culture and Behaviour Change

“We have to change our culture” is one of the most frequently uttered phrases in business, politics and society. It is said by Chief Executives, leaders in Universities, health institutions, Unions and by the senior representatives of many different groups in society. At the heart of this remark lies a sense that something is not going as well as expected and anticipated results or outcomes are not being achieved. Leaders want to find a different way to approach doing things in order to improve performance. The consequence is that culture change programmes are introduced which sometimes succeed in delivering improvement, but more often than not, fail to result in sustainable change.

Our approach to culture change emphasises three critical factors that need to be addressed which includes the need to Model, Measure and IMplement. The first of these relate to the idea that culture needs to be operationalised in practical terms. By this we mean that the factors involved in culture need to be made explicit. Based on many years of research, we have defined our approach in terms of the Integrated Framework, which identifies the idea of Organisational Climate as a driver of performance. This framework provides a practical Model for use when thinking about culture.

Organisational Climate is defined as how people feel about working in an organisation. A positive climate differentiates outstanding from average performance. If the organisation improves its Climate it will see a knock-on improvement in terms of outcomes.The Integrated Framework shows it is three key change levers that drive Organisational Climate. These include the effectiveness of the Structure, the Processes and the Behaviour of the leadership population. We define these change levers as culture. They represent the behaviour that ‘goes on’.The Integrated Framework is a clear and concise description of what culture is and how it relates to performance.

The second factor is the idea of Measurement. It is often stated that if you can’t measure something then you can’t change it. We agree with this and therefore have developed a methodology of measuring these factors of culture in a way that provides a benchmark of current state. This provides real clarity about what needs to be done, therefore allowing time, money and resources to be allocated most appropriately.

The third factor is about IMplementation. Our approach identifies what aspects of culture need to change together with how that change can be effected. Our Model, Measure, iMplement (MMiM) approach to cultural and behavioural change is based on over 25 years of research and consultancy experience.

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