• Sam Price
  • Published: 23 June 2020

Culture has always played a role in promoting employee well-being and driving bottom-line value for shareholders. A proactive, enthusiastic sales team will generate much higher revenue than a disengaged, hesitant one. An innovation lab or change team will add more value through cost reductions and new ideas when working in a supportive environment that empowers them to create unique new solutions. And across organizations, lower attrition and higher job satisfaction can be expected when an organization’s culture is inclusive, encouraging and rewarding. These are all truisms of corporate strategy.

But now more than ever, wider social developments make understanding and cultivating a desirable organizational culture essential, and urgent. Studies have shown that artificial intelligence and automation will eliminate a significant portion of routine work, leaving complex and creative tasks that require an engaged, highly motivated workforce. As these technologies become more integrated into organizations, it’s fair to assume that businesses will increasingly rely on technical and cognitive skills to set them apart from other companies, and the ability to attract and retain top talent will be a key differentiator.

With cultivating organizational culture being beneficial and necessary, why is it so rare to see change projects targeting culture change? One common reason is the perceived ambiguity on how culture can be changed, often leading to culture being dismissed as too intangible to manage.

In this paper, we offer a seven-point framework for analyzing culture change that can lead to concrete actions and improvements for organizations, including the ability to: 

  • Design roles that create new behavioral expectations
  • Tap into social narratives to position employees as pioneers 
  • Empower potential influencers within your business
  • Structure incentives to stimulate positive change 
  • Develop new workforce capabilities.