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How to Lead Effectively During a Culture Change

 


AMA Playbook | April 24, 2019


The AMA Playbook article, "How to Lead Effectively During a Culture Change," was written by Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Anthony Abbatiello and outlines best practices for leading through a culture change. The article is excerpted below.

Emerging markets, rapid innovation, and unprecedented geopolitical trends create complex challenges for today’s leaders. While strong strategic leaders may be able to quickly identify a new vision for the organization, successful execution depends on an entire workforce adjusting with swift cohesion. A captain might chart a new course, but the ships that outmaneuver others will do so because the entire crew is working effectively in unison.

Given this requirement, many organizations have shifted their attention from simply defining a culture to adapting their culture as needed to meet a new strategy. Whether a company is expanding to a new global market, integrating cultures through a merger, or simply identifying a new strategic direction, how can its leaders define and facilitate a successful culture shift?

There is no one-size-fits-all cultural solution

First and foremost, leaders should think critically about this new strategic horizon and what is required to achieve success. There is no “perfect culture” and there is no “copy/paste culture” from one of today’s agile innovators. Some organizations embrace innovation while others perfect their best practices. Some organizations favor collaboration and interdependence while others rely on a divide-and-conquer approach.

The most important consideration is whether your culture fits the needs of your strategy. While many leaders feel tempted to emulate the cultures of successful peers, the best approach is to tailor-fit your culture to reflect your journey ahead. If you’re expanding into a new global region, open-mindedness and a strong learning orientation will be critical for your leaders. If you’re merging teams from separate entities, valuing cooperation over competition may be the difference between accretive and dilutive.

To read the full article, click here.





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How to Lead Effectively During a Culture Change