The three most frequent mistakes made in cultural transformation initiatives are as follows:
Mistake # 1: Focus on personal alignment only
Many organisations focus on personal alignment without doing anything about structural alignment. This serves only to aggravate discontent and disillusionment in the executive and employee population. When employees return from personal mastery programmes, they usually come back with a higher personal awareness about how to interact with their colleagues. They quickly become disillusioned when they realize that although they have changed, the organisation has not changed. The new behaviours they have learned are not practiced by their superiors and are not rewarded.
Mistake # 2: Focus on group cohesion only
Another frequent mistake is focusing on team building without first carrying out a personal alignment programme that involves personal mastery. This limits the potential for success because people enter these programmes without the self-knowledge and interpersonal skills necessary to make the team building exercise a success. For maximum impact, team building or group cohesion programmes should be preceded by a personal alignment programme.
Mistake # 3: Failure to customize the transformation programmes
Change agents and consultants frequently make the mistake of using “off-the-shelf” personal alignment or team building programmes that have not been tailored to the specific needs of the organisation, the division, or the business unit they are working with. When you carry out a cultural values assessment of your organisation, you immediately know what issues need to be tackled and what topics your personal alignment and team building programme should focus on.
Chapter 21: General Practices