What’s In Your Culture Playbook?

People tell me all the time that culture change is hard. And while it may be hard work, I will tell you right now—it’s not as hard as you think. When we do our culture consulting, we help clients come up with a clear set of culture priorities for aligning their culture with what drives their success. The step after that is to develop a culture playbook that has a set of clear action steps for completing that alignment.

If that sounds simple, it’s because it is. Just put together some plays in a playbook, and then start running your plays. If you want help thinking of what plays to run, we’ve identified six common “sections” for your playbook:

  • Rituals and Artifacts. We need symbols and tangible manifestations of culture. Examples: planning celebrations or re-designing office space.
  • Stewardship. Make sure your culture is nurtured and supported continuously. Examples: creating committees or individual positions who have a responsibility for doing ongoing culture support work.
  • Talent/HR. The way you recruit, hire, onboard, and evaluate ALWAYS impacts culture. Examples: new onboarding process or new performance review process.
  • Process. Culture is “the way you do things,” so every single process is subject to change if it will move the culture in the right direction. Examples: change the budgeting process, or key project management processes.
  • Structure. Organizational hierarchy has a huge impact on culture. Examples: create cross-functional teams or eliminate management layers.
  • Technology. In the digital age, there is a technology component to just about everything, and culture is no exception. Examples: implement a new intranet for communication, or an online system for giving internal feedback.

One foot in front of the other, folks. Keep running plays until you achieve alignment between what is truly valued inside your culture and what drives your success as an organization. That’s culture management.

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