- How do you help employees recognize the need for organizational change?
- What does it take to create a winning culture?
- How do you ingrain your company's values and brand into the behavior and action of employees?
The pace of change today is relentless. Organizational survival depends
on leadership's ability to set the right course, make the best decisions,
to inspire people. However, people often put up a strong resistance to
change. People are afraid of the unknown. Many people think things are already
just fine and don't understand the need for change. Functional or enterprise-wide
change often goes against the very values held dear by certain members
of an organization, that is, the change may go against how members believe
things should be done. At the core of what we do is help employees understand
and accept the need for change. Rather than "telling" employees about the
need to change, clients have used the Knowledge Map process to engage
the minds and hearts of employees.
New systems, new technology and new procedures require new behaviors from
employees. Corporate Change is inevitable, but it doesn't have to be
painful to your company. From designing learning solutions, to developing
communication plans to working with senior management we have the experience
to ensure your company is aligned for optimal business performance.
Knowledge Maps provide employees an opportunity to recognize their underlying
assumptions about an issue. Then employees are given the chance to review
marketplace data to see that the world has changed significantly since
they formed their original view of the business. Our sessions allow employees
to voice their questions and doubts about an organizational issue and
have their questions answered by the marketplace data presented as well
as the insights that their peers share. We apply change management principles
and processes to drive changes in employee behavior. Knowledge Clips are
often also used to delve into specific elements of a change initiative.
An organization's success greatly lies in its ability to adapt and respond
with speed and agility to changes in the marketplace. Changing an organization's
culture is often one of the most challenging aspects of change because
culture is rooted in the collective history of an organization, and so much
of it is below the surface of awareness. Leaders often manage change intellectually
rather than engage in it behaviorally and emotionally. Many employees
approach intellectual change with an outlook of "this too shall pass."
Knowledge Maps address organizational issues at the intellectual, behavioral
and emotional level. All three levels are critical for cultural change
to occur. Furthermore, it is important to have a culture change process
in place to sustain change on a continuous basis. We at Applied Learning,
utilize the following steps to instill a culture change process in a company:
- Uncover core values and beliefs. These may include stated values and
goals, but they are also embedded in organizational metaphors, myths, and
stories, and in the behaviors of members.
- Acknowledge, respect, and discuss differences between core values and
beliefs of different subcultures within the organization.
- Look for incongruencies between conscious and unconscious beliefs and
values and resolve by choosing those to which the organization wishes
to commit. Establish new behavioral norms (and even new metaphor language)
that clearly demonstrate desired values.
- Repeat these steps over a long period of time. As new members enter the
organization, assure that they are surrounded with clear messages about
the culture they are entering. Reinforce desirable behavior.
Living the Brand
At Applied Learning, we have helped companies engage employees in a learning
process regarding changes to the company's brand strategy and repositioning
of the company's brand in the marketplace.
Any adjustment to a company's brand strategy needs to be reflected in
the actions and behaviors exhibited by its employees. Marketing a brand
fly the friendly skies" is meaningless unless customers actually experience
It has been our experience that companies faced with this situation overlook
how critical employee understanding and acceptance is, even if the
changes to the brand strategy is perceived to be minor. The notion that
change occurs due to top-down pronouncements is long-gone. Heroic leadership
no longer drives sustainable change. Today, even though people crave leadership,
they don't like being told what to think. Only change that is self-determined
Vision, Mission and Values
Vision, Mission and Values of a company that are well conceived but are
not meaningful to employees will not impact their daily decisions or
behaviors. To be able to energize employees to work towards the company's
vision and mission, and exhibit agreed upon values, executives and managers
should live them, be seen living them, and constantly communicate them
to their employees. Custom Knowledge Maps can effectively communicate these
important messages to employees. They are designed to make discussions
meaningful and real for employees and help them identify specific things
that they can do to work towards these goals. Having employees truly reflect
and understand what aspirations the company seeks and why they matter provides
a much higher probability of bringing the business results desired
from a state of aspiration to realization.