6 Pitfalls Of Creating A Culture Roadmap

By July 23, 2019Culture

Transforming team and organization culture requires a roadmap that works. The roadmap needs to be a guide that people consider realistic, responsive, and relevant to everyday work.

Here are six mistakes to avoid in the process.

Lipstick on the pig

If we want a more energized culture, we need to do things that have sustainable meaning. Veneering ”fun” events or activities on top of a tense or tired culture actually makes it worse because people interpret it as a thinly veiled lack of empathy. The effort needs to address the realities of everyday work, not distract from them.

Thinking it’s all about skills

New skill development is a necessary but not sufficient for culture change. Changing culture requires change in skills and structures. We need to change how we communicate through meetings and media, how we make decisions, and how we share learning. This means changing how work gets done.

Confusing culture with engagement

People can be engaged to the point of burnout, which is not a symptom of a strong culture. Engagement is not a substitute for culture. Culture is how valued, connected, and free to do their best people feel in their work. Building a thriving culture naturally leads to more authentic engagement that fosters growth on all levels.

Management by lecturing

No one changes because they’ve been sufficiently lectured into it. Cultures change because people are having new conversations, not because they are dragged through old conversations.

Killing a sense of agency with a top-down approach

People don’t resist change; they resist being changed. They also support what they help create. Culture change works when it is local, where people feel responsible for how it unfolds. Culture change resources can be designed and delivered from the top, and the real work of change happens at the level of teams.

Punishing progress

Change happens in steps. When progress is the priority and what’s recognized, culture change gains and sustains traction and momentum. Demanding perfection prevents progress. The recognition of progress is one of the highest performance motivators in any change effort. Progress builds capacity which leads to resilience.

A strong culture roadmap is designed to prevent these pitfalls. It leverages the psychology of change and the potentials of the teams and leaders.

Check into our approach to building and leveraging the power of Thriving Culture Roadmaps. Click here.


About Jack

In my late twenties I had the good fortune to have mentors who were practice leaders in what was then called the Human Potentials Movement. They inspired me to help organizations and communities realize their potential in ways they never imagined. It became clear this was the core gift that would shape the past 40 years.

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