Leading Change by sdfwerte


									           Smoke and mirrors –
Is culture change and illusion?
   An fe3 mindstretch 3 October 2006
Welcome and introductions
A very rough agenda

• Some definitions
• The protagonists
• The anti-culturalists
• Coffee
• Your views
• A way forward?
First thoughts….

• “Culture is rather like a black hole;
 the closer you get to it, the less light
 is thrown on the topic and the less
 chance you have of surviving the

                      Keith Grint (1995)
First thoughts….
• “What our framework has done is to
  remind the world of professional managers
  that “soft is hard”…it has enabled us to
  say, in effect, „All that stuff you have been
  dismissing for so long as the intractable,
  irrational, intuitive, informal organisation
  CAN be managed.‟”

           Peters and Waterman, In Search of Excellence (1982)
Some quick definitions

• Culture
• Where culture fits into change
The protagonists

• Peters and Waterman
• Deal and Kennedy
• Ed Schein
Peters and Waterman
• Characteristics of “Excellent”
  – A bias for action
  – Close to the customer
  – Autonomy and entrepreneurship
  – Productivity through people
  – Hands-on, value driven
  – Stick to the knitting
  – Simple form, lean staff
  – Simultaneous loose-tight properties
Peters and Waterman

• “These devices – vision, symbolic
 action, recognition – are a control
 system in the truest sense of the
 term. The manager‟s task is to
 conceive of them as such and to
 consciously use them.”
       Peters and Waterman In Search of Excellence (1982)
Deal and Kennedy
• Organisational values powerfully influence
  what people do, so they should be a
  managerial concern
• Successful companies are so because:
  – They stand for something
  – Management is concerned with values, how
    they link to business environment and how they
    are communicated
  – They are known and shared by everyone
• Management of values is THE primary task
  of managers
      Deal and Kennedy‟s model
             Low            taking               High

    Rapid      Work hard,            Tough guy
               play hard

and reward
               Process               Bet the
    Slow                             company
Ed Schein

• His 1985 model of culture


            Beliefs, values,

           Basic Assumptions
Schein‟s model of change

• Unfreeze/disconfirmation
• Cognitive restructuring
• Refreezing

• Culture change may have a negative
• Required?
The antagonists

• Meek
• Van Maanen and Gideon Kunda
• Hugh Willmott
To start us off…..
• “Culture as a whole cannot be
  manipulated, turned on or off, although it
  needs to be recognised that some
  organisations are in a better position…to
  intentionally influence it…culture should
  be regarded as something an organisation
  is, not something it has. It is not an
  independent variable, nor can it be
  created, discovered or destroyed by the
  whims of management.”
And again…
• Culture change is implicitly
 “totalitarian”… and results in a
 situation “where individuals struggle to
 assess the meaning and worth of a
 range of competing value
 standpoints…instead of trying to cope
 with a multiplicity of views and
 attitudes, the corporate response is to
 try and tighten control and strangle
                                 Hugh Willmott, 1993
The main issues

• Too dominant?
• Theoretically deficient
• Unitary
The main issues

• Resigned behavioural compliance
• Transferable across countries?
• Strong culture is a good thing?
• Morally and ethically suspect?
• Possible?
Potential ways forward?
• Receptive outer context and managerial
•   Leadership behaviour
•   Existence of inarticulate and imprecise
    visions for change
•   Use of discrepant action
•   Use of deviants and heretics
•   Moving people and portfolios to release
Potential ways forward?
• Creating space for the articulation of
•   Altering management process at the top
•   Reinforcing change through structural
•   Use of role models
•   Resources and development to carry
•   Revamping employee communication
•   Persist and be patient!
Potential ways forward
• Managing WITH culture
  –   Task of top management
  –   Needs power and expertise
  –   Demands cultural diagnostic
  –   Demands strategic choices (match? Change of
      strategy? Change of culture?)
  –   Create network of change agents
  –   Design structural changes
  –   Design process changes
  –   Revise personnel policies
  –   Monitor development of organisational culture

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