Barriers to Organizational Change: The Role of Culture

I’ve been talking to a lot of people lately about their return to office plans. Returning to the office is a major organizational change after 15 months of working from home for most of us.

The people I’m talking to are fairly well dialed in on the tactical, practical aspects. They’ve thought through vaccination status, PPE stations, masks, and social distancing protocols. But they often haven’t thought about what this return might mean for their culture. Most of them don’t have a good read on what their employees think about returning to the office. It got me thinking about the role of curating culture during organizational change. In the case of this particular change, I think it’s important to focus on communicating early, often, and generously.

Conversations Around Your Organizational Culture

Every organization has a culture, whether the leadership team has tried to build it intentionally or not. That culture sets the tone for everything that happens within the organization, from who is hired and how people are rewarded and retained to customer satisfaction and ultimately, profit. The good news is you do have a choice to build yours intentionally.

Changing the Conversation About Leadership

Look closely anywhere in corporate America, the government, and even sports and you’ll realize: we haven’t had enough great leadership in the past…and we don’t have enough now. It’s time to change the way we talk about leaders, how we perceive people’s readiness to lead, and how we encourage the behaviors we want to see all leaders demonstrate in the future.

We are Better Together

At Kadabra, our team has an unofficial mantra: “We’re better together.” I don’t remember who said it first, but every time we put our heads together to solve a problem, work on content, or do strategic planning, we affirm that we are certainly better together.

It’s more than the old adage that two heads are better than one. There’s a synergy that happens when we work together. It’s as if, together, we’re able to tap into a higher wisdom; like Napoleon Hill’s concept of the mastermind principle.

What Being More, Doing More Really Means

Many of us have heard the story of Dan Price, the CEO who made headlines by cutting his own salary so he could raise his lowest-paid employees to a minimum salary of $70k a year.

People said his company would go under. Others said that he set an unrealistic precedent. Many said he was crazy.

In a country where the CEO of large organizations typically make 1200x more than their lowest-paid employee, we’d argue that Price epitomizes being more, doing more.

Post-COVID Career Development

Leaders everywhere rang in 2020 with big plans for elevating their careers and organizations. I’ll admit I was right there with them – encouraging my team members to dream big with stretch goals and career paths.

We quickly realized that 2020 was not going to be the year for making the moves we had planned, but rather the moves which were either necessary or newly possible for us to envision. Many of our clients and their team members worked from home alongside their kids, pondered their new reality, and in so doing some completely rethought their future and their career goals in the process.

What’s Your Return to Work Plan?

It’s been over a year since we all began to shelter in place, and now everyone’s buzzing about returning to work. An internet search of “return to work” yielded over fifteen billion hits in .6 seconds…with nearly as many opinions about what to do.

At Kadabra, we’re not fans of a “one size fits all” approach. Those don’t typically fit anyone very well.

Best Practices for Returning to Work

With vaccination rates increasing rapidly, offices are slowly beginning to open back up–many planning to implement a hybrid approach. And we recognize that some employees have been in person and on the job for the duration of the pandemic.

What’s important to note is that not every organization has an adequate plan in place yet to enable their employees’ success in a hybrid setting. We know from experience that face time with employees is important. And even as some recognized a benefit to slowing down (or stopping) travel for business meetings and team gatherings, we’ve also seen that Zoom-only might not be a viable long-term replacement for all of our pre-COVID in-person interactions.

Aligning the 4 Key Elements in Your Organization

Something isn’t quite right in your organization. Maybe revenue isn’t where you’d like it to be despite a significant increase in your marketing spend, or voluntary turnover is a lot higher than it used to be. You may not yet know for sure what is “off,” but you know something is up.

It might be tempting to scrutinize the activities of your sales team or human resources, but the truth is what’s off could be any number of things.