I’ve written a lot about establishing a strong culture but sometimes you have to break it. At a recent workshop, we talked about setting a vision and strategies to achieve it. It went over well but there was a hesitation amongst some participants. It wouldn’t work here, that’s not how things are done.
Changing culture is hard
The group didn’t think they could overcome the culture. It was a strong culture and what could they do as individuals to drive change? They were right, it is very hard to overcome a strong culture, even if that culture isn’t positive. It wouldn’t be easy but individual leaders can make a difference.
The key is recognizing what you can and can’t control. You probably aren’t going to be able to lead broad change. You will meet resistance but you can lead change in areas you can control.
What can you change?
As a team leader you have latitude about how you lead your group. What vision and goals do you set? How will you manage action to get there? How you will inspire the people around you and how will you manage accountability. These are all things you can do without the support of people above you.
You might be wondering why bother. Why go through all this effort to resist the culture around you? It comes down to results. Good leaders generate better results. Some cultures have become stuck over the years and need to change. Leaders like you who try new things and generate better results are catalysts for change. If the people above you don’t notice, the people around you will. They will appreciate working for an effective leader who will make them better. Leaders like this become people magnets, attracting people to join them. You can make a difference and gradually break the culture for the better.
Do you need to break the culture around you?