My first job post-business school was as an organizational change management consultant with Oracle. I was a part of the business unit charged with successfully implementing large scale ERP systems. I read everything I could on managing change, driving cultural shifts and effective communication. And what I learned, was at the Fortune 500 level, implementing change was a slow slog at best.
Now, I have the privilege of working directly with middle-market CEOs of growth companies. We make fast decisions. We barely talk about politics. We help each other make things happen.
For a while, in my role of CEO strategic facilitator, I actually dismissed the idea of culture management, taking a strong stance that
happy leaders make a happy company and that leaders are happiest with clear goals that they achieve and feel good about. End of story.
While I do still believe in my original point of view, there are two additional perspectives I now hold to be true...
Number one: Changing a bad culture is really hard. This lesson has been learned over and over from our CEOs who adopt company cultures when taking on a new position.
Number two: Finding and keeping good talent is a heightened challenge at the moment. As a result, culture management is back on my radar.
With that in mind, here's a true story...