Tag Archives: leading a culture change

Leading Improvement Teams & Change With Creativity!

boxWhen identifying the traits of a good CI Leader, we have often referenced the importance of getting people to WANT to do what needs to be done.  Leadership provides the energy for change and the commitment to sustain it.

Although not often associated with leadership, creativity is a trait that modern leaders should also harness, says a recent article published on leadchangegroup.com.

Suggesting that creativity is the driving force behind innovation and change, the article goes on to state that it is a good leader’s job to encourage creative or outside-of-the-box thinking, and construct a team that works well by bringing in workers with varying aspects that complement each other.

“This way, a team of different thinkers can brainstorm together and come to the best solution that is both practical and innovative,” says author Ron Burg, a Leadership Development Specialist.

Burg also lists the following five “creativity killers” that leaders should avoid:

  1. Not listening
  2. Shooting down ideas
  3. Playing it too safe
  4. Limiting group diversity
  5. Micromanaging

Changing & Sustaining Culture

cultureandleadershipConcluding our “culture” theme, our Partners in Improvement groups discussed this subject during one of or recent sessions, and specifically focused on ways to change, support and sustain a culture that is aligned with a new strategic direction.

While peer pressure was identified as one component of helping people try to assimilate to the group they are in, the interchange was primarily geared toward how organizations can take more formal steps to sustain this important ingredient to success.

For example, sustaining the culture may include hiring people with values that are consistent with the culture. Some organizations try to identify these people through focusing on values in the interview process or using psychological profiles to identify people who would be likely to embrace the culture and those whose values would push them in a different direction.

Some organizations use publications and meetings to celebrate, reward, and reinforce examples of the culture in action. Others design measurement systems to support and reinforce the culture and behaviors they want to see.

For example, one of our Partners, in a successful attempt to build a culture of continuous improvement, has implemented a performance management system that rewards people who participated in an improvement over the past year; and the improvement must meet specific criteria:

  • Done
  • Quantified
  • Successfully run for a period of time
  • Standardized

Another Partner company puts everyone through a five day course to help people learn to work effectively in teams. Yet another has a course that emphasizes culture that every single employee must take. And some are sent back to take it a second time!

But the Partners Forum and the literature overwhelmingly suggest that culture is most powerfully influenced by the leadership… and in particular leadership’s behavior that is consistent with the culture.

“Living it begins at the top. If people don’t see the executives living and displaying the corporate values that they expect others to live by, the end is near.” [Ryan Rieches]