The Culture Journey Continues: Firing up a Signal Flare

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At key times during the culture and disruption initiative I’m leading, I’m going to share the strategy, tactics, pivots, etc. with our followers so we all might learn together. It will be authentic, messy and hopefully instructive. Please join us with the overall objective of inspiring a movement to create even greater workplaces and organization cultures. Everyone has the right to thrive in a great workplace. Each of us has an obligation to make it so.

Challenge: Cultural transformations, by their nature, are a long term play. Milestones are met in continuous, iterative ways over the years. Is there a way to send a quick flare or signal about what the evolving culture may look and feel like to get people excited about the journey? My team’s strategy is to engage the entire community in understanding the WHY, and co-creating the WHAT and HOW along the way, using my 10 elements of adaptive cultures as a guide. Once the organization starts building momentum, it becomes very gratifying to see the movement drive results almost on its own. However, I like to fire an early signal.

What I Did: As any new person usually does, I’ve spent the early weeks listening and watching. During conversations with people from various places in the organization, one frustrating process kept coming up. For one reason or another, people unanimously hated the process. For confidential reasons, I won’t say what it was. I have a very small team and by intention, the only way to really get stuff done is to partner. So I went to the leader of that process and asked her to consider changing it. With very thoughtful and swift action, SHE did. What courage! My understanding is that the response from the organization was overwhelmingly positive (someone even sent her flowers for taking the action). She and her team deserve all the credit and we collectively just sent up a flare! We are listening!  Sometimes it’s what you do that sends a signal, other times it’s what you stop!

Think Big, Start Small, Act Now.


One Millennial View: I love the fact that I’ll likely never open up a Microsoft Word document ever again. I was just discussing with a friend how they were operating in Excel on a joint project with a co-worker and they had to copy and paste each other’s work into their individual spreadsheets because the organization didn’t use Google Sheets, which would allow both of them to work on the same spreadsheet simultaneously. If you want to pay your workers to spend the hours doing backwards busy work, that’s your choice, but it’s not the best path. Fire up that signal.

– Garrett

Blog 987

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis