I have a problem with culture change programmes.

It’s not that establishing a new culture is a bad thing. In fact, most organisations would benefit by improving speed, accountability, teamwork and entrepreneurialism.

It’s just that you don’t need a programme to make it happen. Culture change doesn’t begin by setting up a culture change sub-committee or by having a working group run some focus groups or by asking external consultants to identify culture improvement opportunities.

Culture change happens when a leader decides that it needs to change, states clearly what behaviours are required and what aren’t, and then leads their teams on that basis.

If these new behaviours improve the level of openness, fairness and performance, the results can be both instantaneous and dramatic. Yes, you may meet pockets of resistance that need to be addressed, but, by then, you’re likely to have far more supporters than detractors.

So, culture change isn’t a programme, it’s the essence of leadership. What change and improvement in culture is your leadership delivering?

Off The Record: A Change is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke

I was born by the river, in a little tent

Oh, and just like the river

I’ve been running ever since

It’s been a long, a long time coming

But I know a change is gonna come

Oh, yes it will