Organizational Culture Change

Most organization development efforts focus on improving workplace systems - and if that's what your organization needs, there are many management consultants who can help. But what about workplace culture? - where can you get help with that? Workplace Psychology specializes in advising leaders on how to change, improve, revitalize or transform the work culture of their enterprise.

Just as effective managers of purpose implement productive workplace systems, effective leaders of people cultivate productive workplace cultures. A productive work culture is a group mindset that is well aligned with enterprise mission and strategy, and which encourages employees to engage with those aims to the best of their talent and effort. Changing work systems can be difficult enough (especially in the absence of a healthy culture), but improving work culture can be even more daunting. Research suggests that most change management initiatives are unsuccessful or marginally successful at best. Part of the reason is that organizations mainly focus on changing work systems and devote less attention to improving work culture. Workplace Psychology can help leaders meet the challenge of culture change.

There are two basic reasons that a workplace culture needs to change: it needs to get focused or it needs to get healthy - or both. A work culture needs to get focused when it is misaligned with enterprise purpose. To best serve your mission and optimize strategic objectives, the attitude or mindset of your workforce needs to shift - e.g. to become more collaborative, more innovative, more service-focused, more results-oriented, more brand-focused, more professional, etc. And a work culture needs to get healthy when employees are disengaging from their work. Workers may be just going through the motions (perhaps hiding in the crowd or coasting on past success), or the group's morale may be poor to mediocre at best. In any case, the work culture is failing to generate the discretionary effort and dedicated commitment that healthy work cultures consistently elicit from the bulk of their people. Workplace Psychology can help leaders foster both sorts of culture change.

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Open Space Meetings:

As psychologists, we understand that workplace culture is fundamentally a product of group dynamics, and we understand the sort of interventions required to transform group dynamics. We offer the standard repertoire of change management techniques, including: organization culture surveys and other assessment tools, feedback and action planning, multi-modal communications, training and coaching support, measurement of benchmarks, recognition and celebration of progress, etc. In addition, we commonly recommend conducting large group interactive events for all or much of the staff - such as "Open Space Meetings". The level of workforce engagement that can be elicited at such events offers an opportunity to leverage the group dynamic in a transformative way. Meetings like these can quickly unfreeze a workplace culture (even one that is deeply entrenched) and open a window to true culture change. Follow-up work is then needed to consolidate a new and improved work culture - which is an ongoing challenge. But Open Space Meetings (or other large group interactive events) jump-start the change process by evoking high employee engagement from the outset.

If your mandate or imperative as a leader requires change management, and if a large part of what needs to change is your work culture (not just your work systems), Workplace Psychology has the expertise to help you succeed. Our firm is located in New York City & White Plains NY, and we offer organizational change management via on-site consulting throughout the NYC metro area.