What Is Culture Change

Defining Culture Change

Providing an environment for innovation and transformation The Pioneer Network is a place where you will hear a lot of discourse about culture transformation. How do you recognize cultural change when you see it? What is the concept of culture change, and how do you know when you’ve witnessed it?

What Is Culture Change?

‘Culture change’ is the term commonly used to refer to the national movement for the transformation of older adult services into ones that are based on person-directed values and practices, and in which the voices of elders and those who work most closely with them are solicited, respected, and celebrated. Relationship, choice, dignity, respect, self-determination, and living with a sense of purpose are the core person-directed principles. As a result of culture change, it is possible to create both long- and short-term living environments, as well as home and community-based settings, in which both older individuals and their care partners may express and exercise self-determination in meaningful ways at every level of daily life.

This involves designing living areas that provide privacy, comfort, and the ability to be personalized.

  • People receiving care or assistance and their care partners’ interactions are facilitated in large part by providing staff with encouragement, support, and nurturing.
  • The transformation of organizational and individual culture may necessitate changes in basic organizational and individual beliefs and philosophies, in practices, in physical settings, in interpersonal connections at all levels, and in workforce models.
  • Ahead of the tipping point for person-directed care adoption, Pioneer Network is communicating, collaborating and networking with stakeholders from all sectors of the long-term care community.
  • Read Case Studies in Person Directed Care about companies that are on the path to achieving cultural transformation.

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.

Examine what cultural change is, what it takes to bring about that sort of change in team members, and the finest ideas from those who have successfully altered cultures in the past.

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?

  • It is also helpful for organizations to have a clear concept of cultural transformation.
  • 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.
  • A commitment to change is reflected in an organization’s commitment to cultural transformation.
  • 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.
  • 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.

  • An organization’s culture may need to be changed for a variety of reasons. Despite the fact that changing one’s cultural identity is difficult, one’s culture is always evolving. It is possible that you may require a cultural transformation as a result of the evolution of culture. After some time has passed, you come to recognize that your organization’s culture, values, and practices have gradually shifted away from what they were in the beginning. However, there are an infinite number of possible explanations for the events described in the next section.

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. A movement can begin with a single individual, but in order for that concept to spread, it must have the backing of others.

What is the best way to make a cultural change?

In general, cultural change may take place without the involvement of a movement or a political party. The list of factors above demonstrates that a culture may change regardless of whether or not the individuals involved want it to. Alternatively, if an organization realizes the need to modify its culture and want to establish a new culture, it must embark on a systematic change project. In order to intentionally alter a culture, it is required to organize a movement. In the meanwhile, what exactly is a “movement” within an organization, and who is responsible for making it happen?

  1. Small or huge, a sense of dissatisfaction or an unmet need that increases and prompts an entire group to mobilize for action can serve as a catalyst to change the course of history.
  2. Leadership is not always demonstrated by those who initiate movements.
  3. However, it is the magnitude of the movement and the spread of the movement that gives these change attempts their momentum and impact, rather than their own personal size.
  4. Though an idea might begin with a single person, it must gain the support of others in order to take hold.

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
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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.

When managers and leaders effectively alter their personal habits, this has a cascading impact on the organization. It is because of their modeling that a movement’s cultural shift may be more than a fleeting moment. Published on the 21st of October, 2021

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.

  • 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.
  • The results of this interaction feed back into underlying cultural capital.
  • Because cultural mutations occur in small increments across time, culture seems to be fixed to the observer at any one point in time.
  • Policymakers must put out significant effort to enhance some fundamental components of a society’s cultural characteristics.
  • Their cultural influence continues to be felt across the world, more than half a century after they first appeared on the scene.
  • According to Raimon Panikkar, there are 29 ways in which cultural change can be brought about.
  • 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.

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.

  • Cultural capital includes things like attitudes, values, goals, and a sense of self-efficacy, all of which have the ability to impact behavior. The accumulation of cultural capital is impacted by human activity throughout time. It is the shifting social zeitgeist – the gradual evolution of social norms and values that predominate within a society’s cultural capital through time – that is of interest. Within the confines of the ‘elastic band’ of public opinion, the process by which political narrative, as well as new ideas and breakthroughs, modify the social zeitgeist over time The process of behavioral normalization, in which actions and behaviors are transformed into social and cultural norms (for example, Knott et al. suggest that the experience of seat belt enforcement in the United Kingdom created and reinforced this as a societal norm)
  • The application of consumer intelligence
  • In order to account for how policy will interact with cultural capital and influence it over time, it is critical to design policy programs around an ecological model of human behavior.
  • Clinic for contraception and family planning aiming at promoting sexual health
  • According to the Gates Foundation, a financial incentive for waste management is proposed. Jakarta’s streets have been taken over by an anti-smoking campaign.

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
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  • 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

Cultural Change That Sticks

R1207K is a reprint. When a big transformation program goes off the rails, leaders frequently attribute the failure to the company’s culture as the root cause. They attempt to go forward by revamping the culture, but this strategy frequently fizzles out, fails, or backfires. The majority of civilizations are too deeply ingrained to be easily discarded. The key is to quit fighting your culture and instead to collaborate and work inside it until it grows in the proper direction for you. According to the writers, three consultants from BoozCompany, today’s best-performing organizations, like as Southwest Airlines, Apple, and the Four Seasons, are aware of the importance of this.

  1. Align strategy with organizational culture.
  2. 2.
  3. Bringing about widespread change is difficult; pick your battles intelligently.
  4. Recognize and build on the current culture’s assets.
  5. 4.
  6. Consider identifying “influencers” who can persuade other staff to follow new rules and procedures rather than just implementing them.
  7. Track and monitor the progress of cultural change.
  8. When the executives of Aetna used these standards while executing a new strategy in the early 2000s, they were able to revitalize the company’s ailing culture and return employee pride to the company’s ranks.
  9. In the early 2000s, Aetna was experiencing significant difficulties on many fronts.
  10. In addition, the firm was losing around $1 million per day as a result of inefficient operations, high overhead, and rash acquisitions, all of which contributed to the loss.

A version of this essay was published in the July–August 2012 edition of Harvard Business Review, and is reprinted here with permission.

How Do You Change An Organizational Culture?

Changing the culture of a company is one of the most challenging leadership problems a leader can face. This is due to the fact that an organization’s culture is comprised of a collection of objectives, roles, procedures, values, communication methods, attitudes, and assumptions that are all intertwined. The pieces work together to form a self-reinforcing system that works together to prevent any attempts to alter it from occurring. Therefore, single-fix changes, such as the introduction of teams, Lean, Agile or Scrum, knowledge management, or some new process, may appear to make progress for a time, but over time, the interlocking elements of the organizational culture take over and the change is inexorably drawn back into the existing organization culture.

The sequence in which they are deployed, on the other hand, has a significant influence on the chance of success.

The following are examples of common blunders made when attempting to modify culture:

  • Overuse of coercive power tools and underuse of leadership tools are two major problems in society today. When you start with a vision or story, but fail to put in place the management tools that will help to cement the behavioral changes in place, you are committing a strategic failure. Even before a clear vision or story of the future is in place, power tools should be used to get things started.

For over half a century, the World Bank has been attempting to reform its organizational culture, and these lessons have been visible in each of its subsequent endeavors.

The challenge of culture change at the World Bank

With regard to organizational culture transformation, the World Bank stands out as a particularly problematic instance. Its explicit purpose of development is dubious, to say the least. Moreover, the institution itself is an unusual hybrid of three different entities: a charitable foundation, a university, and a bank. In its capacity as an international organization, it is owned by governments across the globe, and it is governed by a resident board of directors and their staffs, who are always on hand and ready to cast doubt on the management’s decisions.

Considering that India, China, and Korea were once considered to be basket cases in need of perpetual Western assistance, it’s easy to forget that they are now considered to be independent economic powers in their own right, thanks in part to the implementation of economic policies that the World Bank has been advising them on for a long period of time.

Furthermore, emerging global concerns such as the environment provide new difficulties for the World Bank, which must play a role that is distinct from that played in the past.

Robert McNamara: World Bank President 1968-1981

Robert McNamara was by far the most effective president in terms of transforming the culture of the country. Following a successful career at Ford Motor Company, where he rose to the position of president in 1960, McNamara served as secretary of defense of the United States from 1961 to 1968 and as president of the World Bank from 1968 to 1981. His greatest lasting contribution to the World Bank is, for better or worse, the introduction of hierarchical bureaucracy, with all of its accompanying aims, duties, accountabilities, values, and means of communicating with the public.

  1. When McNamara arrived at the World Bank in May 1968, he immediately established himself as the organization’s leader.
  2. McNamara scribbled the titles he needed on a white-lined paper with his left hand in his left-handed handwriting.
  3. What was the earliest he could get it ready?
  4. The tables included all main parts of the Bank Group’s activity, with totals for each five-year period and detailed information for the previous five years, and McNamara had them completed in six weeks.
  5. Afterwards, McNamara requested the bank’s top executives who serve on the bank’s President’s Council to fill in the blanks for the following five years for the operations that fall within his jurisdiction.
  6. It should come as no surprise that the five-year loan plans presented by the geographical units have nothing in common with the five-year lending plans generated by the technical units in this study.
  7. McNamara made the announcement to the top management at this time, in early summer 1968, that the World Bank would no longer have a separate sheet of music from which everyone would play in the future.
  8. Not a story, but a series of standard tables—basically a lot of numbers—that McNamara used to guide him through the organization’s management over the following thirteen years.
  9. He significantly expanded the World Bank’s participation in agriculture and education, as well as in health, population, nutrition, and urban development, and he established new lines of business in these areas.

But it is his introduction of hierarchical bureaucracy that will be remembered as his most significant achievement. Consider the following examples of what McNamaradi did not do to bring about a culture change:

  • He did not make any changes to the management team or hire any new employees. He mostly collaborated with those who were already on the job. To gain something he couldn’t get from the previous administration, he called on young individuals from within the organization, such as Blaxall
  • He didn’t start by reorganizing: he started by restructuring the company. It took McNamara just four years after his arrival (in 1972) to finally get around to reorganizing the organization, which was necessary in any case because the organization had expanded so much during his tenure. During this time period, his management practices and ideology had been firmly established

McNamara arrived to the company with a specific aim in mind: it was to be a lending institution that was lending far more money than it was receiving. He had a clear vision of the type of management he wished to see implemented: hierarchical bureaucracy on a large scale. As a result of his systems and processes, the World Bank became a quickly growing lending institution, and the sort of management that was necessary became more apparent to everyone. Most of the systems are still in existence and used to influence managerial decision-making.

Tom Clausen: 1981-1986: Strategic planning

Tom Clausen formerly served as the chairman and CEO of Bank of America, where he was recognized as “the top manager in the United States.” Following his time at the World Bank, he returned to his previous employer, Bank of America, where he was named “best manager in America” for the second time. At the World Bank, on the other hand, he found it difficult to have an impact. He spent a significant amount of his time attempting to understand how the organization operated. He could see that the organization had loaned a significant amount of money, but the purpose of the lending—development—was unclear to him.

As a result, it continued to go in the same general direction.

Barber Conable: 1986-1991: Reorganization

Barber Because of Conable’s previous experience as a Republican congressman from New York, he saw his new position as a political challenge. The institution he inherited had grown inefficient, bureaucratic, and inattentive to the needs of its constituents. Conable’s answer was a big reorganization paired with a little amount of retrenchment and restructuring. It was hoped that the rebuilt organization will emerge lighter, more agile, and more client-focused as a result of the restructuring. The fact was that, despite the presence of new management and new organizational structures, the old culture swiftly reemerged.

Because of the reliance on power tools in this situation, there was some short-term interruption but no long-term impact.

As a banker, he accepted the World Bank for what it was: a bank, and throughout his four years as president, he made no substantial effort to reverse that acceptance in any way.

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James Wolfensohn: 1995-2005:New structure, new managers

James Wolfensohn arrived to the position after a successful career in investment banking. For the first time in his career, he had spent a significant amount of time thinking about the World Bank, and had even attempted to become its president. He was a candidate when McNamara announced his retirement in 1981, but he was told he was disqualified due to his citizenship as an Australian. He became a citizen of the United States and was elected President of the United States in 1995. When he was appointed, it was widely rumored in the news that he wanted to fire the whole senior management team.

  1. Also during his tenure, he initiated a significant restructuring that consumed management and employees for several years.
  2. More significantly, he took measures to make the organization’s mission and goals more explicit.
  3. (1996-2000, I was the director of knowledge management at the University of Michigan).
  4. To fight poverty with dedication and professionalism in order to achieve long-term outcomes.
  5. For the first time, the aim was explicitly centered on poverty alleviation rather than on any other issue.
  6. As a result, Wolfensohn’s ten-year tenure was defined by a great deal of work and effort spent on bringing about reform.
  7. As it had been nearly forty years previously, it was still a bank that lent money for development projects, in accordance with the processes that McNamara had established.

Wolfensohn had a vision for the organization as a nonprofit committed to alleviating poverty, but he failed to put in place the management procedures that would have helped him achieve that objective and keep it alive.

Paul Wolfowitz: 2005-2007: New blood from outside

Paul Wolfowitz, a notable neoconservative and former Deputy Secretary of Defense, was a key architect of President Bush’s Iraq strategy and the policy’s most hardline champion. His selection as the president of the World Bank was met with controversy when it was announced. Wolfowitz came into the organization with a transformation agenda that aimed to shift the organization toward a more conservative viewpoint. He attempted to do this by appointing some of his neoconservative lieutenants to positions of management.

  • In an effort to detect and put a stop to corruption, Wolfowitz hired two US nationals who had previously worked for the Bush administration and designated them as close advisors to help him ferret out wrongdoing. Their efforts became contentious
  • Another appointment had difficulties when he attempted to shift policy on family planning and climate change in favor of a more conservative approach.

The appointment of two US nationals who were formerly with the Bush administration as close advisors to ferret out fraud was part of Wolfowitz’s endeavor to discover and put a stop to corruption. While their efforts proved to be polarizing, another appointment encountered difficulties when he attempted to shift policy on family planning and climate change in favor of a more conservative approach.

Robert Zoellick: 2007-to date

Following the turbulence of the brief Wolfowitz administration, Zoellick’s quiet term, which was devoid of any daring measures, came as a welcome relief to many. In discovering the Globe Bank’s role in supplying data to the world, he has demonstrated just how difficult it may be for a new president to comprehend, never alone govern, such a complex organization. As he enters the last year of his five-year term, President Obama has made no indication that he want to retain the services of the former Bush administration official.

Meeting the challenge for the future

Even as of mid-2011, the World Bank has maintained its status as a slow-moving, typical hierarchical bureaucracy with an inward-looking outlook. Despite the fact that the organization’s mission statement from 1998 dedicates the organization to the relief of poverty, the organization’s management responsibilities, methods, and structures nevertheless force the organization to concentrate primarily on financing for individual development projects. Despite having a large number of competent employees, the organization as a whole is underperforming.

In general, the World Bank is in serious need of a fundamental restructuring of its administration.

Lessons for the next president

The future president should draw lessons from Robert McNamara’s successes and failures, as well as other successful transformation initiatives in major corporations, such as those led by Alan Mullaly at Ford and Steve Jobs at Apple:

  • Come up with a clear vision of where you want the organization to go, and use leadership storytelling to quickly and aggressively communicate that goal to others.
  • Develop an understanding of the primary stakeholders in the new vision and motivate the company to be continually and systematically responsive to those stakeholders.
  • Make managers’ roles as enablers of self-organizing teams clear so that they may draw on the full potential of their brilliant employees
  • And Develop and put in place new systems and processes that support and reinforce this vision of the future as rapidly as possible, drawing on the principles of dynamic linking in the process. Make an effort to promote and regularly reinforce the principles of radical transparency and continual development.
  • Make horizontal communications via dialogues and stories rather than through top-down orders
  • Don’t start with a reorganization. Prior to anything else, clarify the vision and put in place the management roles and mechanisms that will serve to support the vision
  • And last, implement the vision. Don’t bring in a new team of senior executives via force. Work with the current management and enlist the help of others who are committed to your goal.

He is the author of several books, the most recent of which being The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management: Reinventing the Workplace for the Twenty-First Century (Jossey-Bass, 2010).

Steve Denning may be found on Twitter at @stevedenning. Join Steve Denning at the Zurich Gathering for C-Suite Leaders in Zurich, Switzerland. 12th of September, 2011

Culture Change: What Why How?

Culture is defined as the collection of distinguishing spiritual, material, intellectual, and emotional characteristics that distinguish a civilization. It is a set of values, a set of beliefs, and a set of practices. It’s the story that we’re involved in on a daily basis. It is the means through which we make sense of the world. What makes us unique is the variety of tales and humour we have to share, as well as our collective experiences and understanding of our environment. Moreover, none of us is restricted to a single culture: you might find yourself swimming in a delicious soup of your religious culture, your urban/suburban culture, your school or workplace culture, your country’s culture, and the culture(s) of your hobbies and interests: cooking, cricket, Comic Con, for example.

  1. We don’t merely absorb stuff in a passive manner.
  2. As a result, we have the ability to alter the situation.
  3. And there are times when we need to make a shift.
  4. We may start with our own areas of influence.

So what is culture change?

Culture change is the act of consuming and generating cultural goods that question established society norms, such as multimedia memes, Twitter hashtags, television series, new forms of dance, and accepted standards of behavior. Culture is always shifting; if we recognize this, we may take steps to purposefully shift it in a positive direction. We have the option of supporting programs that feature three-dimensional female protagonists. We have the option of not sharing a sexist photograph or video.

We can make prejudice and violence (including micro-violence such as harsh language or street harassment) the exceptions, not the rule, by holding ourselves and others accountable and acting in a responsible manner on a daily basis.

Why does it matter?

What is the reason for changing culture? What if all of the rules and regulations that promote safety and equality are insufficient? No, not at all. Laws and policies are important — and, as with marriage equality, may serve as indications of cultural change — but it is culture change that captures our hearts and minds, not laws and regulations. We may recognize that something is bad when it is prohibited by law, but we may not believe that something is wrong when our culture does not support it.

  1. Change occurs before the incidence of domestic violence, before the event of sexual harassment, and before the sexist statement is made.
  2. It is more than just a matter of accident prevention.
  3. It represents a significant shift in gender expectations and cultural belief systems.
  4. However, even the most reasonable laws and regulations will fail to bring about significant long-term changes in attitudes and norms unless they are backed up by cultural muscle that forces them to be implemented.
  5. Culture transformation entails actively constructing the world in which we choose to reside.

We can all find a way to contribute to the creation of a better planet if we work together to improve our culture. We’re not simply seeking for crises to respond to; we’re also working on bringing the world we want to live in into existence on a continual basis.

So what can I do?

  1. Reflect. When it comes to changing culture, one of the most essential things you can do is modify yourself. Consider your prejudices, the language you use, and the culture you engage with and propagate in an open and honest manner. Find methods that you can make a difference, no matter how big or little your efforts are, to ensure that human rights begin with you. Consult with your circle of friends. Have you ever noticed your pals say or do improper things around you? Don’t be frightened to express yourself. When one individual speaks up, it provides space for others to do so as well, and it establishes a standard that leads to cultural change in the organization. Choose your media sources carefully—and speak up about them. Support cultural products—TV shows, YouTube videos, articles—that question traditional gender or racial standards, present violence with sensitivity and depth, expose talents who are not part of the Hollywood elite, and so forth
  2. And Learn everything you can about the issues. Read articles, visit blogs, and add new individuals to your social media network. Engage with the issues and the individuals who are working on them
  3. Then let us know what you learned. Is it possible that you had a “cultural shift moment” today? Please share your experience with us. Breakthrough @breakthrough would want to hear about your culture shift moment.

It all starts with you to bring about cultural change in support of human rights!

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