How to transform culture from the inside-out: 5 steps for creating a growth culture that outperform
Updated: Mar 24
Companies that already use New Work as a target often first change the external structures through agile teams and check-in meetings. But external principles alone do not reach the core of the culture - the inner attitude of the employees. The problem lies in the fact that previous corporate cultures usually try to bring about change through reason and logical explanation. We disregard the deeper levels of being human, whose sustainable transformative effectiveness is much higher and more far-reaching.
The moment we understand how to involve our emotional side as well as our intellect, we can sustainably strengthen our corporate culture by developing the potential of each individual.
For a systemic sustainable culture change in companies it, therefore, needs five principles of transformation into a growth culture:
1. Transformation at all levels:
For a successful living corporate culture that is stable to change and holds together in the face of external fluctuations and uncertainties, it takes commitment and engagement at all levels of the hierarchy to engage in this transformation. Leaders have a responsibility not only to invest in well-being and training but to take ownership. When leadership and employees simultaneously move their culture into a culture of growth, momentum is created that produces direct results. Openness, trust and genuine relationships are then seen as a value to the entire organization.
For a successful transformation, everyone commits to learning and growth, appreciation and openness. The principles of growth culture assume that everyone wants to grow. And at the same time, everyone must be aware that stepping out of the comfort zone and making a change can also be painful. That the comfort zone for some at the beginning always seems easier than going into growth? But many forget that the natural state of the comfort zone also has a price. 80% of our energy costs stagnation in the comfort zone. 80% of the capacity of employees cannot be used. What couldn't your organization accomplish with that extra 80%?
2. Commitment and regularity:
So far, many companies are trying to hand off their culture transformation. Training apps, coaching and engagement platform are wonderful symptom fighters that work well for a short time and to some extent. However, a culture should not become an artificial lung that keeps it alive, it should live and pulsate from within itself.
With an exciting team event, you usually only create small highlights that are already forgotten after a few weeks. A sustainable change of culture needs new habits. And every habit needs time to come to life naturally and automatically in everyday life. Ritualized, regular formats that are binding not only create a well-rooted habit but also provide security, belonging, trust and a sense of achievement in growth.
3. Inner attitude before behavior:
Strengthened habits develop sustainable inner attitudes. Whether we say it or not, our inner attitude toward people or issues determines our behavior. Only when you know who you are, you know your values and what you stand for, only then can you say what your attitude is. And also only then can one profess attitude. This effect of the inner attitude can radiate to the entire enterprise and lead with a positive, strengthened attitude to an authentic positioning at the market. The inner attitude is like a deep rootedness to the company, to the role and to one's own vision, which is indispensable for motivated, committed and successful employees.
4. Moving from knowledge to action:
"It's very clear to me in my head, but I can't get it implemented" - this knowing-doing gap is natural at the beginning of a transformation. First, teams understand the "why" and experience AHA moments. Through this inspiration, learning begins. Then, the first-hand experience is necessary to make the knowledge tangible and experiential. At this point, growth takes place that becomes tangible through action and making it tangible. In the process, many also experience growing pains in the beginning, as it is unfamiliar for some to change the focus and energy in which they have been accustomed to working for so long. Over a longer period of time, "doing" therefore also needs the aspect of realizing insights. For this, structures and spaces need to be created in companies, such as mastermind or train-the-trainer programs, which allow for topic-related feedback, feedback and support. These ritualized traditions create the space for psychological security, constancy and shared growth.
5. Empowerment instead of dependency:
Successful transformation means adapting flexibly to changes in the outside world. There is no time x when consultants or coaches are done with their work and the topic "growth culture" is ticked off. A growth culture is ongoing and continues to change. External coaches and consultants help create the core and rooting and fuel the growth. After a while, it is necessary for companies to have created their own rituals, traditions and spaces that run through their own facilitation and support. In this context, the ultimate principle of growth culture is independent living without external supports. For this purpose, mentors can be built up in one's own company and personal responsibility can be recognized and lived as a value.
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