What Is A Culture Shift

What is Culture Shift?

During your time abroad, you will almost certainly experience what international educators refer to as a “cultural change.” This is a type of psychological confusion that is akin to the sensation of being frustrated. When you are generally frustrated, on the other hand, you can usually find the source of your frustration and begin to address it. Culture change is distinct from irritation in that the causes of culture shift are difficult, if not impossible, to determine. In the course of your interactions with other students, staff, and individuals from a different culture, this emotion will develop stronger and stronger.

Living in a different culture may be extremely exciting and gratifying, but it can also be unsettling and stressful when you are separated from your family, friends, support networks, and cultural standards that you are accustomed to following.

However, the more you know about what you expect in the host nation, the more likely it is that your expectations will match reality and that your experience will be less surprising.

A cultural change does not occur as a result of a single event.

  1. A gradual alteration in culture is most likely to have an impact on someone.
  2. For example, you may find yourself in an uncertain circumstance where you are asked to do a task without receiving enough instruction or explanation from your superiors.
  3. When you initially arrive in the host nation, you will most likely find everything around you to be unfamiliar, interesting, and fascinating.
  4. In popular culture, this initial reaction is referred to as the honeymoon stage.
  5. After a few weeks, after you have grown more accustomed to your daily routine, some of the small changes in gestures, etiquette, and the tone and rhythm of speech will become more noticeable.
  6. If it is difficult for you to communicate at first, you may even feel disappointed in yourself for your efforts.
  7. When going through a culture shift, it is common to feel a variety of emotions at the same time.
  8. Sometimes when these symptoms manifest themselves, students are completely oblivious that they are going through a culture shift.
  9. Because you will have learnt new techniques to doing things in your host nation that have been embraced as a part of everyday life, you will feel more emancipated after undergoing a cultural change.

There are various strategies that can help you overcome the stress of a cultural transition more rapidly, including the following:

  1. After arriving, take note of your surroundings so that you may trace any unusual interactions you notice to their underlying values later in the game. Once you’ve discovered some of the values of your host nation, it’s a good idea to discuss some of your findings with a native person you can trust. We believe it will be an excellent chance to create deeper, more intimate connections with a few selected host nationalities, allowing you to discuss non-judgmentally about topics influenced by cross-cultural ideas. You should not be concerned about losing your property or personal values. Following the traditions of your host nation will not make you any less of an American than you already are. It will only serve to brighten your mind and soul, and it will help you to feel more at ease in your new setting. It will open doors to greater knowledge
  2. It is critical to keep a sense of humour throughout the process. Even if you find yourself feeling ridiculous at times because you are having problems communicating in a foreign language, learn to laugh it off. There will be many individuals who will like your company and will compliment you on your efforts. Maintain mental activity and physical activity. Activities such as reading, jogging, and socializing will help you maintain a positive outlook on your life. You should engage in some self-care activities before re-engaging with others if you are feeling down
  3. If you take the time to inform others about your home country by sharing scrapbooks, photo albums, or other types of visuals with them, you will build closer relationships that will allow your hosts and other visitors to get to know a part of you that is not always visible in your daily living situation
  4. If you are feeling down, engage in some self-care activities before re-engaging with others
  5. You may be confident that your study abroad experience will be fruitful. Discovering the countless benefits of studying abroad will become apparent as you get more understanding about your host nation and begin to form new acquaintances. If necessary, become fluent in the local language. Speaking the language of your host nation will reflect your want to learn and, at the absolute least, will be considered a kindness to your hosts and will exhibit your initiative. Making an effort to communicate in the local language is an excellent starting point for developing new ties with local people. Look into a variety of methods for improving your linguistic abilities. It is critical to put your skills into practice. If you are taking part in an immersion program, make every effort to communicate in the language of your host nation at all times, including with your American classmates. Don’t put too much effort into avoiding grammatical errors. Communication and learning may be hindered as a result of this. Words, phrases, and sentence fragments will be much appreciated, whether they are understood or uttered. You will also feel a tremendous feeling of accomplishment as you continue to study more and more about the language
  6. However, you should keep in mind that various cultures may employ a variety of verbal and nonverbal communication strategies. In contrast to what you are accustomed to in the United States, body language, the utilization of personal space when chatting, and other non-verbal communication might be extremely different in other countries. Furthermore, when it comes to some themes, certain cultures are not nearly as candid, caustic, or combative as Americans are when addressing them. A lot of the time in discussion, things are assumed but not explicitly stated. It is critical to remember that variances in communication styles are simply that – differences in communication styles. You should refrain from making snap judgements about a person’s demeanor until you have gained a thorough understanding of the verbal and nonverbal communication techniques prevalent in your host culture. Maintain an open mind. In order to better understand how behavior fits together, both rationally and systematically, it is critical to observe culture in a way that facilitates understanding. Cross-cultural understanding is frequently hampered by individuals’s desire to impose their own beliefs and preconceptions on persons from a different cultural background. Furthermore, if you attempt to do a task based on your own assumptions about its efficiency, you will be dissatisfied and believe that others are purposefully making things more difficult for you. In order to avoid getting defensive and clinging to your preconceived preconceptions, try to be open-minded rather than defensive

Take note: Experiencing a cultural change in which you are thrust into strange and uncomfortable situations gives a rare and valuable opportunity to learn. In this approach, many of the important abilities that students get from studying abroad—such as flexibility, comfort in unfamiliar situations, problem-solving, and self-confidence—are fostered.

Culture Shift: Changing Beliefs, Behaviors, and Outcomes

The culture should be identified, named, and validated. The first stage is to identify and explain the beliefs that are at the heart of the current cultural milieu. In order to do this, it is helpful to have executives think through and identify organizational results that they have noticed and that they like or dislike. Following that, students should hypothesize the actions that resulted in the results, as well as the beliefs that drove the conduct and influenced the outcomes. The ability to identify particular irritating results and hypothesize the actions that appear to generate those outcomes makes it feasible to more readily get at the likely underlying beliefs.

  1. Starting with the realization that current ideas did not develop out of nowhere and that they frequently served a valuable purpose even if they are no longer relevant, this process proceeds.
  2. Maintaining perspective is important since the origins of views may be traced back to many generations of CEOs.
  3. Why?
  4. That culture can survive for years after the CEO who established it has retired or passed away.
  5. Before attempting to modify a company’s culture, it is critical to understand how to collaborate with and leverage the existing culture for competitive advantage.
  6. In the latter situation, the costs and timescales associated with bringing about cultural change must be weighed against the potential advantages that may arise as a result of the new culture.
  7. The second phase in implementing cultural change is to reframe the narratives that will be utilized to influence people’s attitudes and beliefs.

The ability to explain in detail the ideas, actions, and results that are sought can also be beneficial (see “Diagnosing and reframing culture in practice” for more information).

Be a role model for cultural transformation and share it to others.

Establishing new views necessitates role-modeling, which involves doing activities that are congruent with new ideas while also rewarding individuals who behave in ways that promote desired outcomes and beliefs.

A consistent communications plan around the cultural change you are attempting to implement will almost certainly be required (see “A plain English talent agenda for your transition” for more information).

Your employees are paying close attention to your actions since they are a main source of information about the values and beliefs that will guide the firm in the future.

Instead, in order to speed culture change, it may be necessary to hire new leaders and employees who have ideas that are similar to those you like to see manifested in your firm.

In order to develop a new set of behaviors and attitudes in a sustained manner, it is necessary to review incentive and performance management policies and ensure that they are aligned with the culture you wish to create.

It is critical to express ideas and anticipated actions at every level of the cultural change and reinforcement process, as well as to openly state and reinforce the desired beliefs at each stage.

Some businesses, for example, are releasing manifestos on cultural issues. 4 And, when utilized properly, video and electronic media may magnify and broaden the reach of important messages and cultural narratives to crucial audiences even farther.

The Process of Cultural Shifting

Al Condeluci contributed to this article. Cultural Shifting (TRN Press, 2002) is an excerpt from the book. “Humans are the only creature that is not enslaved by their surroundings. Jacob Bronowski describes how children’s imagination, reason, emotional complexity, and resilience make it possible for them not only to accept, but also to alter, their surroundings.” In this article, the phrase “cultural shifting” is used to describe the process through which new or distinctive products become accepted as part of an already existing group.

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A more detailed description of the process of cultural shifting may be found in the book Cultural Shifting (2001), from which this article is a straight extrapolation.

The Metaphor of a Bridge

A bridge is an excellent metaphor for understanding the difficulty of cultural transition. For its ability to combine two key concepts, bridges are both simple and complicated structures: the simplicity of linking two places and the complexity of the engineering required to complete the connection. When you look at the problem of seeing individuals reconnected to their communities, you can clearly see how this mixing has occurred. The difficulty is straightforward as we attempt to create solutions for those who have become estranged from one another to be reunited.

  1. When a change agent considers the reintegration of persons with disabilities back into the mainstream of the community, this is a particularly vivid illustration of this.
  2. That is, historically, persons with disabilities have been seen in terms of inadequacy and dysfunction, as if they were part of a medical paradigm.
  3. In these publications, I argue that the medical treatment approach has resulted in persons with disabilities being viewed in terms of incapacity, issues, or incapability, rather than as individuals with impairments.
  4. The purpose of rehabilitation is to assist the person with a disability in transitioning from being excluded to becoming a contributing member of the community on the other side of the spectrum.
  5. When studying this metaphor, it becomes evident that the problem or the reason why the person with a disability is isolated from the rest of the community is due to their differences, disability, or perceived difficulty, not their actual impairment.
  6. This is exactly how the problem of inclusion is addressed in the vast majority of human service programs.
  7. As previously said, I go into much greater depth on the medical model approach in my earlier article.

It implies that if we can solve the problem, we will have a better chance of include the individual.

Despite the fact that this strategy has been in use for many years, it has not resulted in genuine community inclusion in the end.

Maintaining the problem-centered perspective on the person with a handicap and attempting to change them is like to chasing the wrong butterfly.

Rather than putting the emphasis on the individual and focusing attention on their differences, I propose that we rethink our approach.

This means that if you find yourself at point A and you want to travel to point B, but there is a river in your way, you could consider the river to be a difficulty.

This is why we would seek the assistance of an engineer to see how we might lessen or eliminate the river so that we can safely travel from point A to Point B.

It says that the best method to integrate individuals in the community is to solve the difficulties that they are experiencing.

Using the metaphor of a bridge, the task shifts from perceiving the river as a problem to considering what alternative options we could have for securely crossing it.

This shift in perspective views the river not as a problem, but rather as a fact that must be managed in accordance with the strength and stability of the shorelines where we want to anchor the bridge.

In order to do this, the metaphor of a bridge is used, and the change agent is required to think about four crucial milestones along the process.

Taking these actions is in direct opposition to the medical paradigm as well as the way in which the human service system interacts with persons who have impairments in many ways. Nevertheless, in my opinion, this is the only way we can fully integrate them into the community.

Four Steps to Cultural Shifting

There are four phases that must always be considered when considering how any new person, product, or concept might be integrated into an existing culture: Please bear in mind how these four phases may have worked for you in the past when attempting to introduce anything new into your community as we go through them together.

Step 1 – Find the Passion or Point of Connection

Finding the essential places of strength and passion, much like we did with our bridge metaphor, is the first step in influencing cultural attitudes. In order to create a robust bridge, we must first provide a solid foundation to ensure that the bridge will be safe for people to cross. When it comes to the transit of people, products, and ideas into culture, the same power is required. To do this, we must first discover all that is powerful or positive about the subject matter about which we seek to change the culture.

  1. When dealing with other people, you have to dig deep.
  2. Some people have been undervalued to such an extent that they are unable to discover their true passions.
  3. This can only occur when individuals are treated with dignity and respect.
  4. We have found that family members or other relatives have been quite helpful in the capacity-building work that we have done in Pittsburgh.
  5. One of our key endeavors as parents is to uncover the interests and abilities of our children in order to link them to groups that share those same interests.
  6. This is frequently a process of discovery.
  7. During the process of locating and dismantling antique bicycles, cameras, hockey sticks, baseball bats, a ballet tutu, an ancient trumpet, and other remnants of culture, I recognized that we had discovered and removed artifacts of culture.
  8. For our children, the ones who resonated with them were the ones that guided them through the steps of community.

Step 2 – Find the Venue or Play Point

Finding the essential places of strength and passion, just like we did with our bridge metaphor, is the first step toward cultural transformation. The most important step in building a robust bridge is to ensure that the bridge will be safe for people to cross. A similar amount of force is required for the transfer of people, goods, and ideas into culture. It is necessary to identify all that is powerful or positive about the subject matter in order to successfully alter the culture. People are often aware of their own hobbies and interests, and they are quick to point out if you have a tendency to search for the positive in everything.

  1. As part of our agency’s work, we frequently come with individuals who have been so sheltered or inexperienced that they are unable to readily express their interests.
  2. The time and space necessary for individuals to recognize such areas of connection must be provided in these sorts of circumstances.
  3. When we invite and incorporate individuals who have a history with the person, we may assist them discover their interests as well.
  4. When you think about it, this approach is quite similar to the one we attempt to employ with our children.
  5. The discovery procedure is frequently used in this situation.
  6. During the process of locating and dismantling antique bicycles, cameras, hockey sticks, baseball bats, a ballet tutu, an ancient trumpet, and other remnants of culture, I recognized that we had discovered and removed cultural treasures.

All of these things were possible areas of interest for our children that we were looking for. People who spoke to our children’s hearts and minds paved their way to a more connected life.’ Others were used as artifacts in our anthropological process of community participation.

Step 3 – Understanding the Elements of Culture

In Chapter 2, I discussed the essential components of a sense of belonging. These elements are as follows: 1.Rituals– These are the deeply ingrained habits of a culture that the adherents expect others to preserve and adhere to as well. These behaviors might take the shape of formal acts or symbolic activities that members just pick up on without thinking. For me, the traditions of my undergraduate fraternity served as a dramatic illustration of this point. After promising our allegiance, we were instructed on the ceremonial rites that were expected of each brother throughout our time together.

  1. In some sense, official rituals are ones that survive for centuries because they have been thoroughly sanctioned by the authorities.
  2. 2.Patterns– As we previously established, the patterns of a culture refer to the movements and social space filled by the members of the culture in question.
  3. Patterns nearly always center on the land that the members have claimed as their own.
  4. Jargon is the lingua franca that people of a society employ to explain or discuss things that are significant to them.
  5. Other times, the jargon may present itself in non-technical sayings or idioms that are widely understood by other members and so become essential in the flow of cultural ideas.
  6. Aside from the weaving and sharing of stories or anecdotes, there are other sorts of informal remembering that occur within society.
  7. The accumulation of collective wisdom is facilitated by memory.

Step 4 – Finding or Enlisting the Gatekeeper

The gatekeeper is the final phase in the process of cultural transformation and transformation. When it comes to effectively entering an established community, the only way for new individuals, ideas, or things to do so is to be presented and supported by a credible gatekeeper. Gatekeepers are indigenous members of the community who, as we discussed in Chapter 2, have either official or informal influence over the culture they live in. Gatekeepers might be official leaders who have been elected or picked by the group, or they can be ordinary members who are trusted to get things done in a timely manner.

  • Because they transfer their influence to the person, concept, or thing that they are approving or rejecting, these gatekeepers are extremely powerful figures.
  • The sheer fact that the gatekeeper approves or disapproves of a concept is enough to persuade other members to support or oppose it.
  • In order for people to follow their lead, the gatekeeper must use their position of authority and influence.
  • In order to successfully transform a culture to embrace anything new, the change agent must first identify and then engage the assistance of a gatekeeper to support the transition.
  • The fact that gatekeepers exist in any culture or group is known on the one hand.
  • Our research has revealed that 20% of these gatekeepers are upbeat individuals who are willing to take risks in order to promote causes that they believe in.
  • We also know that the more passionate the gatekeeper is about a new thing, the more likely it is that others will be enthusiastic as well.
  • The process of identifying and recruiting gatekeepers can be challenging, but it is a necessary component of cultural transformation.

It is essential for change agents to understand everything they can about gatekeepers in order to maximize their efficacy. Everyone in the community should be prepared to assume the helm, as if they were on a ship, as Henrik Ibsen once said.

Culture change – Wikipedia

It is a word used in public policymaking to underline the importance of cultural capital on individual and group behavior, which is emphasized by the term “culture change.” It has also been referred to as “repositioning of culture,” which refers to the process of reconstructing a society’s cultural paradigm from the ground up. When making decisions, it is important to consider the elements that influence social and cultural capital and how they interact with other factors such as the availability of information and the financial incentives that individuals face in order to influence their decisions and behavior.

  1. Some think that cultural capital presents itself in certain values, attitudes, or social norms that in turn drive the behavioral intents that individuals adopt when faced with specific options or courses of action.
  2. The results of this interaction feed back into underlying cultural capital.
  3. Because cultural mutations occur in small increments across time, culture seems to be fixed to the observer at any one point in time.
  4. Policymakers must put out significant effort to enhance some fundamental components of a society’s cultural characteristics.
  5. Their cultural influence continues to be felt across the world, more than half a century after they first appeared on the scene.
  6. According to Raimon Panikkar, there are 29 ways in which cultural change can be brought about.
  7. When considered in this perspective, modernization may be defined as the acceptance of Enlightenment-era beliefs and practices, such as those associated with science and rationality as well as those associated with industry and trade, democracy, and the sense of progress.
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Alexander, a model of cultural change is proposed that is based on claims and bids that are evaluated according to their cognitive sufficiency and endorsed or not endorsed by the symbolic authority of the cultural community in question.

Among other things, the rise of international business, the proliferation of mass media, and, most all, the explosion of human population have propelled humanity into a “accelerating culture change phase” over the world.

Portrait of a Turkmanwoman, standing on a carpet at the entrance to an ayurt, clothed in traditional attire and jewelry, taken in full-length profile.

Involved in the maintenance of cultural ideas and practices within contemporary institutions, which are themselves prone to change, these forces are tied to both social structures and natural disasters.

There may be social transformations that occur in conjunction with ideological shifts and other sorts of cultural change.

Environmental variables might also play a role in the decision-making process.

Interactions between civilizations have an impact on cultures on the outside, and these interactions can result in social shifts and changes in cultural practices, which can either facilitate or hinder these changes.

Furthermore, cultural ideas can be transferred from one civilization to another through dispersion or acculturation.

Indiffusion is the process through which something’s form (but not necessarily its meaning) is transferred from one culture to another.

“Stimulus diffusion” (the dissemination of ideas) is a term that refers to an aspect of one culture that results in an innovation or spread in another.

This research-based model explains why and when individuals and societies embrace new ideas, behaviors, and goods, and it is based on empirical evidence from the field of sociology.

In this application, it refers to the substitution of characteristics from one culture with those from another, as was the case with many Native American tribes and many indigenous peoples around the world throughout the process of colonialism.

The transnational flow of culture has played a significant part in the fusion of diverse cultures as well as the exchange of ideas, beliefs, and opinions.

Achieving culture change

According to Knott and colleagues of the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, the phrase “culture change” is used in their article “Achieving Culture Change: A Policy Framework” (Knott et al., 2008). ‘Downstream’ interventions such as fiscal incentives, legislation, regulation, and information provision are discussed, as are ‘upstream’ interventions such as parenting, peer and mentoring programs, and the development of social and community networks. The paper also discusses how public policy can achieve social and cultural change through ‘upstream’ interventions such as the development of social and community networks.

  • It is used in the paper Achieving Culture Change: A Policy Framework by Knott et al. of the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, which is available online (Knott et al., 2008). ‘Downstream’ interventions such as fiscal incentives, legislation, regulation, and information provision are discussed, as are ‘upstream’ interventions such as parenting, peer and mentoring programs, and the development of social and community networks. The paper also discusses how public policy can achieve social and cultural change through ‘downstream’ interventions such as legislation, regulation, and information provision. The following are the fundamental notions on which the paper is built:
  • It is used in the paper Achieving Culture Change: A Policy Framework by Knott et al. of the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit (Knott et al., 2008). ‘Downstream’ interventions such as fiscal incentives, legislation, regulation, and information provision are discussed, as well as ‘upstream’ interventions such as parenting, peer and mentoring programs, and the development of social and community networks. The paper also discusses how public policy can achieve social and cultural change through ‘upstream’ interventions such as the development of social and community networks. The following are the central notions on which the study is based:

Knott and colleagues offer examples from a wide range of policy domains to illustrate how the culture change framework may be used to policymaking in a variety of policy areas. as an illustration:

  • They recommend increased use of early childhood and parenting interventions, an improved childhood offer, the development of positive narratives about education, as well as integrated advisory systems, financial assistance, and targeted social marketing approaches to encourage educational aspiration. For healthy living and personal responsibility, they recommend integrating healthy living into community infrastructure, forming partnerships with schools and employers, providing more one-to-one support for wellbeing alongside the use of regulation and legislation on unhealthy products, providing comprehensive health information and engaging in health marketing to encourage adaptive behaviors. The authors recommend that, in order to develop environmentally sustainable norms, policy narratives should be strengthened throughout, environmental messages should be promoted through schools and the voluntary sector, and infrastructure should be developed that makes environmentally sustainable choices simple, as part of a larger package of measures that includes fiscal incentives, regulatory frameworks, advisory services, and coalition movements.

See also

  • Behavioral economics, cultural capital, market failure, mediatization (media), social transformation, sociocultural evolution, theory of planned behavior are all terms that come to mind when thinking about economics.


  1. A study of women and development in a Nigerian rural community was published in 2015 by Uchendu Eugene Chigbu as “Repositioning Culture for Development: Women and Development in a Nigerian Rural Community.” Community, Work, and Family.18(3): 334–350.doi: 10.1080/13668803.2014.981506.S2CID144448501
  2. Chigbu, Uchendu Eugene (2015). “Repositioning culture for development: women and development in a Nigerian rural community.” Community, Work, and Family.18(3): 334–350.doi: 10.1080/13668803.2014.981506.S2CID144448501
  3. Chigbu, U Pétrakis, Panagiotis
  4. Kostis, Pantelis (2014). Community, Work, and Family.18(3): 334–350.doi: 10.1080/13668803.2014.981506.S2CID144448501
  5. Petrakis, Panagiotis
  6. Kostis, Pantelis (2013). “Economic development and cultural transformation.” In the Journal of Socio-Economics, vol. 47, no. 1, pp. 147–157, doi: 10.1016/j.socec.2013.02.011
  7. Lind, J., Lindenfors, P., Ghirlanda, S., Lidén, K., and Enquist, M. (in press) (May 7, 2013). “Phylogenetic concepts are used to determine the age of human cultural capability.” Scientific Reports, Vol. 3, No. 1, 1785. PANICKAR, Raimon
  8. Bibcode: 2013NatSR.3E1785L.doi: 10.1038/srep01785.ISSN2045-2322.PMC3646280.PMID23648831
  9. (1991). Pathil and Kuncheria are two names for the same person (ed.). Religious Pluralism from the Perspective of an Indian Christian Page numbers 252–99 of ISPCK
  10. ISBN978-81-7214-005-2
  11. OCLC25410539
  12. Rein and Raud (2016-08-29). Making Sense of the World: An Outline for an Integral Theory of Culture Cambridge:Polity.ISBN978-1-5095-1124-2.OCLC944339574
  13. s^ Uchendu Eugene, Chigbu, Uchendu Eugene (2015-07-03). “Repositioning culture for development: women and development in a Nigerian rural community” is an article published in the journal Development and Change. DOI: 10.1080/13668803.2014.981506.ISSN1366-8803.S2CID144448501
  14. Community, WorkFamily.18(3): 334–50
  15. Dennis O’Neil is a writer who lives in New York City (2006). “Culture Change: Processes of Change” is the title of this article. Palomar College’s Center for Culture Change. The original version of this article was published on October 27, 2016. Obtainable on October 29, 2016
  16. Heather Pringle is the author of this work (November 20, 1998). “Agriculture’s Slow Birth” is the title of this article. The Journal of Science, 282(5393), 1446 (doi: 10.1126/science.282.5393.1446.ISSN0036-8075.S2CID128522781)
  17. Wei, Clarissa (March 20, 2018). “What It Is About American Chain Restaurants That Makes China So Adorable.” Eater. Obtainable on September 29, 2019


  • Arnold Groh is a fictional character created by a combination of a fictional character and a real person (2019). Theories of Culture are discussed here. Knott, David
  • Muers, Stephen
  • Aldridge, Stephen (2008)
  • GSR Behaviour Change Knowledge Review (London: Routledge, ISBN 978-1-138-66865-2)
  • Knott, David
  • Aldridge, Stephen (2008) (2008). Report of Reference: An introduction to behavior change models and their applications

External links

  • Baconbutty on Culture Change
  • Gordon Brown says an alcohol tax will reduce crime, according to the Daily Telegraph
  • The wicked country, according to the New Statesman
  • Winning the Hearts and Minds of People
  • A framework for action for public policymakers in the process of transforming culture (in French)
  • Managing Teams in the Context of Culture Change

How cultural change equals behavioral change

Culture is the result of what happens on a daily basis. Interactions with their boss and team members provide those working in a firm with their first impression of the organizational culture. They gain an understanding of the corporate culture by interacting with the systems and resources that are available to them. This is accomplished through the process of decision-making. Organizational culture affects employees and executives by determining which of their actions are rewarded and which are discouraged.

Consider the following scenario: if your firm declares that it promotes collaboration but does not provide adequate collaboration tools for remote workers, the culture will not reflect this.

What is cultural change?

The phrase “cultural transformation” is used by sociologists and public policymakers to describe the process through which society transforms. As a result, the society adopts new cultural features, behavioral patterns, and social norms, and new social structures are formed as a result of this. It is at this degree of social change that people come into touch with another civilization (for example, through war or mass migration), develop and spread inventions (for example, autos or a smart phone in everyone’s pocket?

  1. It is also helpful for organizations to have a clear concept of cultural transformation.
  2. Organizations are more likely to refer to “needing to transform the culture” as a top-down process than they are to refer to it as a bottom-up approach.
  3. A commitment to change is reflected in an organization’s commitment to cultural transformation.
  4. The ultimate objective is to make the workplace a more pleasant place to work.

The majority of cultural shifts are the result of a communal reaction to a movement. A movement is anything that has triggered the occurrence of a shift. The folks that are pushing change are known as motion creators.

Common reasons for a cultural change

There are a variety of reasons why a company would seek to alter its corporate culture. The paradox is that, while culture transformation is difficult, your culture is always growing at the same time. One of the reasons why you can find yourself in need of cultural transformation is the growth of your society. One day, you discover that your organization’s culture, beliefs, and practices have changed over time, little by bit, and that you no longer recognize them as such. The following are some frequent circumstances, however the number of possible reasons is virtually endless.

  • Acquisition or merger of two or more companies. A merger is the coming together of two firms that have quite different corporate cultures from one another. It is possible that a culture shift will not be required if both firms remain distinct. However, when the two organizations merge their objectives, resources, and personnel, a cultural shift will occur. Organizations must either accept the prevailing culture or develop a new one
  • Fresh leadership is required. New leadership, such as that of a CEO, introduces new ideas and expectations that have an impact on the culture. New leadership is frequently brought on board with the goal of bringing about change. Leaders may bring in their own team to provide support for the cultural transformation strategy
  • This is referred to as a social shift. There is a societal revolution taking place that is shining a light on outdated ideas. Sexist, ageist, racist, and intolerant procedures are only a few examples of those founded in prejudice. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are concepts that have just lately become common practices in many organizations. This is only because employees and society as a whole demanded that it be done. Many companies throughout the world are experiencing a technological transformation that is still in its early stages but has been long overdue. Technological advancements are forcing business executives to reconsider or completely reimagine existing processes. Consider the monumental burden that many businesses faced when they decided to go paperless. Consider how difficult it must have been to modify the way they filed and kept information. Hundreds of years’ worth of paper records and files were housed in file rooms and storage facilities. This shift necessitated the dismantling of “old school” mentalities. Corporations were required to teach their employees on how to do their tasks using computers and scanners. Companies were suddenly confronted with cybersecurity, regulatory, and data storage challenges, as well as a loss of competitiveness. When a firm isn’t operating well, losing market share to competitors, or becoming less lucrative, it may be an indication that the company’s culture is no longer effective in the market or in attracting top-tier employees. When a company’s retention and well-being indicators begin to deteriorate, it is common for culture to be at least one of the contributing factors. In the same line, your culture may also be your most valuable asset
  • A new operating/workforce model can help you achieve this. Another example of a cultural shift brought about by technology is the practice of remote work. Some businesses had already perfected the art of remote work, but many others had yet to do so. While dealing with the flu epidemic, this rapid change to remote labor occurred nearly overnight. It fundamentally altered the way we communicate, cooperate, and create work. Employees needed to become used to their new home office environment fast, and companies needed to be adaptable. Dogs barking and toddlers running around the room were the new normal for video conference sessions. The distinction between designated working hours and undefined working hours grew more blurred. Many people who had been accustomed to working from home did not want to return to the regular office environment after a period of time. The freedom that remote work provides is appealing to many businesses and individuals. Hybrid work patterns as well as full-time remote work are becoming commonplace. Another reason for culture change is the introduction of new business models, generational shifts, or, as we have seen with financial shocks, wars and the pandemic, global events that cause new behaviors and a reassessment of values and preferences
  • Other reasons for culture change include the introduction of new technologies
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Is a movement necessary for cultural change?

In general, cultural change may occur without the involvement of a political force. As can be seen from the list of factors provided above, a culture may shift regardless of whether or not those involved desire it to do so. A intentional change project is required, however, when an organization realizes the need to modify its culture and wishes to establish a new culture in its place. In order to intentionally transform a culture, it is important to organize a movement. But what exactly is a “movement” within an organization, and who is responsible for making it happen?

The trigger might be enormous or tiny in scale – a growing sense of dissatisfaction or a growing need that prompts a group of people to call for action.

Those that initiate movements are not necessarily in a position of leadership.

It is very common for these movements to begin their development deep within an organization.

What is the best way to make a cultural change?

A change management strategy or extensive communication preparation will not be enough to transform the culture. Instead than being spoken about, culture change is sensed and lived. An agreement to create a cultural transformation is a demonstration of leadership’s commitment to responsibility. This statement admits that the status quo is unsatisfactory and that things could be improved in some aspect, if not all. This acknowledgment alone may be sufficient to garner support from those who issued the call to action.

  • If there is no clear vision of a new culture, teamwork, and a strategy to go from point A to point B, a symbol or public pledge will have little effect on changing the company culture.
  • A change of environment can help to remove the distractions that come with daily life and allow you to focus on your objective.
  • When introducing change efforts to the rest of the organization, use the same procedure.
  • If travel is not an option, arrange for the group to meet in a different area of your business or build a distinct and intriguing virtual environment.
  • When developing a strategy plan for cultural transformation, it is critical to include branding!
  • It fosters a sense of community.
  • Having said that, messages and slogans alone will not result in a culture shift.

In reality, slogans, particularly those coming from the top, that are not accompanied by actions and behaviors that are consistent with new cultural ideals can breed skepticism among both those who desire change and those who do not.

However, be aware of your target audience.

Leaders must learn to use a light touch in their interactions.

Edicts, mandates, regulations, and norms are a turn-off and provoke disagreement among the population at large.

This transformation must be pushed forward by those who are on the front lines.

For many people, change is a source of discomfort.

Friction is the anxiety of not feeling in control of how their employment will change as a result of the change.

Make a plan for the long term.

Change must be gradual, almost biological in nature, in order to be effective, and this takes time. People might become overwhelmed if they try to change too quickly. This results in them no longer feeling like they have a voice or influence over their work, so removing their agency.

What are the best practices to lead a cultural movement?

  • What is your motivation? What motivates you to do what you do? Provide employees with a more in-depth understanding of the organization’s goal. To give an example, “We develop software that makes our clients’ life easier.” Demonstrate how this proposed change endeavor will benefit the mission’s objectives. The adjustment we are making to increase internal communication will allow us to remain committed to our objective. Then link the update to the employee’s identity. “Improved communication allows me to be more successful in my career and to better the lives of our consumers.” It’s a win-win situation
  • Form an alliance. Collect a network of supporters, cheerleaders, strategic thinkers, and influencers within your organization to help you achieve your goals. They will lend their assistance to the implementation of the cultural transformation. These are the people who will move things forward. Is the Human Resources department equipped to deal with the new situation? The most effective method to prepare Human Resources for forthcoming transitions is to include them in the planning process from the beginning. Bring all of the parties involved to the table. This is especially true for individuals who will be in charge of training and change management. This promotes alignment while also lowering the likelihood of mistakes and losing attention. Many movements get off to a rousing start but quickly lose their luster. When this occurs, skepticism and naysayers have the potential to undermine the strategy. Leaders must take responsibility for the future changes. This is where your motion creators will keep the change moving forward. They anticipated that there would be conflict following the implementation of the strategy. The importance of communication cannot be overstated. Preparing for the unexpected and having reasonable expectations will help to alleviate any worries that may arise.

Changing culture equals changing habits and behaviors

There is little difference between altering behaviors for an individual and changing habits for a community. The best practices are still in effect: visualize the outcomes, go slowly, and anticipate complications. Consider the consequences of your actions.

  • Allow them to see it, smell it, taste it, and touch it. Meaning provides people with a glimpse of what their lives may be like if they make the necessary changes. Reduce the amount of talking and increase the amount of showing
  • Then tie each employee to the change. What role can they play in helping to bring about change? What will be the benefits to them? Provide them with something to look forward to, such as a better work environment

Take it easy and gradually increase your speed.

  • Explain the procedures to be followed, as well as the expectations and timescales. When you overload individuals with too much change at once, you run the danger of causing opposition. Break down the learning into smaller chunks. Most changes necessitate the need for education on the subject. There are some attitudes and skill sets that need to be refreshed
  • The strength of your transformation is only as powerful as the messengers who deliver it. Your motion creators are the ones who will deliver your message. Ascertain that your motion creators are on board with the adjustments and that they have a thorough understanding of them and can effectively communicate them. The race is won by those who go slowly and steadily. This will take some time
  • Be patient.

Problems are to be expected.

  • Prepare yourself for conflict. Make a strategy for dealing with difficult situations. What may be an impediment or a stumbling block? What can be done to overcome it? Prepare yourself for difficult times. Take a deep breath and check your pulse. Check in on how things are doing by soliciting input from supervisors and their subordinates during this time period. If the movement is losing its momentum, go back and reconnect them to it again. Give individuals a glimpse of what “will be” in order to rekindle their initial excitement.

Moving forward

Changing one’s behaviors is never simple. To be effective in bringing about cultural change, it is necessary to organize a movement, recruit change agents, and give them time. There will be friction since change can cause individuals to become fearful, causing them to resist. A cultural transformation must be meticulously planned and implemented from the outset to ensure success. This necessitates the development of a strategic plan with a vision that provides sufficient time for the change to take root.

Then demonstrate how this adjustment will strengthen their sense of belonging to the purpose and to their individual work.

Here at BetterUp, we’ve witnessed firsthand how consistent coaching and tailored support can result in quick behavior change that lasts for an extended period of time.

It is because of their modeling that a movement’s cultural shift may be more than a fleeting moment.

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