This week’s curator, Lee Bryant, looks at how we can dig deeper into the vital area of individual and collective culture change as part of organisational and personal transformation, shares some related guides from Shift*Base and picks 5 links for further reading on the topic.

Digging Beneath the Surface of Culture Change

All transformation and change efforts pay lip service to the need for culture change, but most attempts to address this challenge remain in the domain of communications, as if you can create new behaviours through posters and inspirational messages alone. My colleague Laura-Jane, who was part of Direct Line’s culture change efforts before she joined us at Post*Shift, has written a great post this week about why this is not good enough, and how organisations can start to get serious about understanding behaviours and their underlying causes:

“Deep down, we all know that people don’t behave in certain ways simply because they have been told to. Information, we are told, is one of a complex blend of factors that make up how we view the world, influenced by how we have grown up, what sort of life experience we have had, the people we have met and the conclusions we have drawn. These have all boiled down into a set of things we value, believe or hold as important principles – this is our mindset. And based on what we value or prioritise, we behave and act in different ways.”

Laura-Jane cites Dave Gray’s forthcoming book on Liminal Thinking as an interesting take on this issue, and we are delighted to have Dave with us next month for a talk and drinks reception at Post*Shift’s offices in London to discuss this further – be quick if you want an invitation (it’s a free event with limited capacity).

Shift*Base Updates

One of the key research areas we hope to pursue this year is getting under the skin of what if often call the new culture of work. What is it? How is it different? How can it create more human and engaging work experiences?Have a look at our basic guide to new thinking and techniques and let us know if we can cover other related topics in this important areas.

Shift*Groups Updates

Our (free) invitation-only community for change agents and internal practitioners of social business, collaboration and digital transformation remains open for new members, whilst we conduct a review of the site and look at how to improve its user experience and utility and consult on how we can better support the community.

Weekly Linklog

  • A new study by Intensions Consulting and Nikolas Badminton found that a quarter (26%) of Canadian adults believe an unbiased computer program would be more trustworthy and ethical than their workplace leaders and managers. “For younger adults, who have grown up trusting and relying on technology, there seems to be a growing preference for automated leadership and management.” Intensions Study: The Future of Work
  • “The team was encouraged to participate in all the conversations, because it is the founding team that determines how the software will behave, who set the tone, define the limits of what is tolerated on the service, which I wrote about in Wired.” How to Measure Culture Change Without Killing It 
  • While performance is monitored to death through zillions of numbers, how do we assess the effectiveness of culture change efforts? And, as we want to support voluntary transformation, how do we measure behavior change with metrics that do not operate as targets or injunctions? A field experience in a large-scale transformation may open ways for meaningful measurement. Comments Sections: A Clarification
  • No matter who you are or what your situation is, some change is always possible. If there’s a situation in the world you want to change, Liminal Thinking can help you see that situation differently, in a way that will maximize your chances of successful change. Liminal Thinking
  • Your job is to design and run the systems that support your company and achieve its purposes: How do you tune the system to avoid rigid bureaucracy, anarchy, or chaos? In a connected company, management needs to function more like a city

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The field of people and groups working at a practical level to transform organisations and build better business structures for the Twenty-First Century is small but growing fast. If you would like to work with us, for us (or against us!), please say hello 🙂

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