Arthur Carmazzi – Organizational Change: Why Culture Change Doesn’t Work

Arthur Carmazzi – Organizational Change: Why Culture Change Doesn’t Work

organizational culture change

Part 1 of how to change an Organizational Culture in 80 Days

By: Arthur Carmazzi

Traditionally the concept of changing an organizational culture has been long and tedious, and for over 70% of organizations who have tried… unsuccessful (according to a 2006 Gallup study). The primary reason for failure is lack of follow through, most organizational culture change initiatives fail because the people involved, don’t see results fast enough and they get discouraged, and thus do not follow through. The worst part is, that when it doesn’t work, people get jaded, and the next time a change initiative comes about, they already have a presupposition that it will not work, dooming it from the start. So if it doesn’t work… Why Change? Because we do want change, but we want change that supports our goals, dreams, and the greater success we could have in our organizations. The barriers to change are emotional, the need to feel that the actions we are taking will have a result, a meaning, and we are not just doing “Stupid Stuff” that wastes our time.

The Arthur Carmazzi organizational change process identifies that much of the problem in organizational change initiatives lies in the traditional culture change methods: Change policy to change actions, Change actions to change behavior, Change behavior to change habits, Change habits to change attitude. And since attitude is the last to be affected, everything else before that seems like… “Stupid Stuff” that just makes life more difficult. So why do many CEOs and consultants still believe changing culture MUST take years when those same processes fail over and over again? Well, because that’s the way it’s always been done. But there is a better way.

At the Speed of Change:

The reality is that Fast Change with the right processes and maintenance system for sustainability is the better strategy. Why… because fast organizational change gives employees the instant emotional gratification for them to build on success. But there are pitfalls…

  1. Senior management must be involved, if there is no buy in from senior management, the process will not work
  2. Senior management should not be control freaks, they will need to let go and set only guidelines, NOT detailed results
  3. The process must get everyone involved, which means that there will be a disruption in the work flow for a 2 to 3 week period (based on the DC Revolution Culture Change Program and depending on the company/division size) where people will be spending 2 to 3 hours every other day with this process. (Timing is based on company or divisions from 200 to 1000 employees).
  4. The culture process must be nurtured for at least 80 days. This requires additional time resources from senior management.
  5. Some people may need to be fired as a means to enforce culture standards

If these 5 factors are in place, an organization has the potential to sculpt an organizational culture with a very strong foundation for success… EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT in the change initiative!

Fast change provides small emotional and tactical wins that motivate the next step. And each “next step” provides a platform for the next until the group has already set their own rules and “Guiding Principles” and started to live by them within “THEIR” culture.

Sustainability of a structured culture owned by the employees who are motivated to make change is much easier to sustain than one created and handed down by management. And with management providing guidelines to the type of culture from the beginning, i.e. innovation culture, brand focused culture, leadership enriched culture… everybody wins!

25 thoughts on “Arthur Carmazzi – Organizational Change: Why Culture Change Doesn’t Work

  1. This is another great point from Arthur Carmazzi. It is ideal that people should get and feel engaged in the organization and this will lead to the creation of a success centered environment.

  2. It is surprising that fast change is possible. As long as the correct process is done (with follow through), results will instantly appear just like what Arthur Carmazzi said.

  3. Yea, Arthur Carmazzi, you got a point. An organization’s culture is deeply embedded in the system and is therefore extremely difficult to change.
    Changing an organization’s culture is one of the most difficult leadership challenges.

  4. This is a huge additional knowledge about changing organizational culture, I will always remember the words you said that “lack of follow through”. I will always remember to continue and make a follow through whether the change fails, it is best to make a contingency plan or plan B and take it positively. The important thing is don’t do it half-heartedly and have faith in yourself as well as to your people. I am very moved by this blog sir Arthur Carmazzi!

  5. I like what you guys are up also. Such intelligent work and reporting! Carry on the excellent works guys I have incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it’ll improve the value of culture change. Thanks Arthur Marcazzi

  6. Thanks for every other informative blog. Where else may I am getting that kind of information written in such an ideal way? I’ve a project that I am simply now operating on about culture change, and I have been on the look out for such information. Thanks a lot, Arthur Carmazzi! 🙂

  7. I’ve recently started a site, the info you provide on this web site has helped me greatly. Thank you for all of your time and work. “The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.” by Jean Paul. Big thanks Arthur Carmazzi for the leadership

  8. It’s wonderful that you are getting ideas from this article. Please make some more of this.
    Thank you Mr. Arthur Carmazzi.

  9. Yeah, Arthur Carmazzi, you got a point. You have highlighted the truth of what is happening in most organizations. Driving cultural change should be done from the top, and with clear intent and purpose and having this shared with all employees. Walking the talk, treating individual employee with respect and trust will certainly help in this. Very often with unclear roles and responsibilities as well as lack of empowerment will make this change even tougher and near impossible. Changing an organization’s culture is one of the most difficult leadership challenges.

  10. Thank you Mr. Arthur Carmazzi for sharing your insights about why culture change doesn’t work, it gives us awareness and knowledge at the same time. Looking forward to read more of your articles about organizational change.

  11. Hi Arthur Carmazzi. Organizational culture evolves over time. An organization’s identity is based on its culture, which is deeply linked to its history and development that’s why culture change is hard.

  12. I agree with the 5 factors given by Mr. Arthur Carmazzi that will help the organization to form an organizational culture with a very strong foundation for success. Great article!

  13. It is really important that the member of the organization must have the initiative to achieve their goals and objectives even if it requires organizational change. Thanks for this article Arthur Carmazzi.

  14. It is important that organizational culture must have the system o shared assumptions, values, and beliefs for it to be successful. Thank you Arthur Carmazzi for sharing this informative article.

  15. Business culture change is one of the hardest challenges facing leaders, but it is essential if an organization is to learn quickly and adapt rapidly to the changes in its environment. The role of leadership is to articulate the purpose and focus on generating the environment, including the culture, which releases the talent for people to deliver business success.
    Great article by Mr. Arthur Carmazzi.

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