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Danny wanted to change the company culture - to have it be more creative and flexible. However, he didn't know where to start. Company culture is BIG!
He decided to start small.
First, he started with himself. He generated more creative ideas in management meetings, he encouraged his leaders to come up with crazy ideas, and he positively acknowledged their contributions. Then he recommended that his leaders try to help creativity grow on their teams.
He also decided to take time off for his son's soccer games, and tell people about it. He announced that not just the boss gets flexibility, but everyone did. HR was a little surprised, but quickly generated guidelines for flexibility.
Second, he changed how projects were run. He kept guidelines on the process, but allowed more flexibility on the details of how things were done. He recognized creative ideas - especially if they saved the company money. He also ensured that project leaders were trained in leading others, project management, and technology. This way project leaders were showing the right behaviors to keep the company focused on their goals while being creative and flexible. And keeping their employees happy and motivated.
They embraced the latest technology to ensure the creative ideas were captured and built upon. Plus the technology allowed them to try alternative approaches - the old technology was too rigid and forced them to make choices that weren't necessarily optimal.
Last, he altered how projects were presented to management. Previously, project teams put in days preparing photos, maps, and presentations. Danny realized this was a waste of good resources and was too rigid. So he told everyone to bring one piece of paper with everything on it for project approval. This caused the team to simplify their ideas. It also meant they weren't wasting value time making things look "pretty."
Danny saw that people started to change the culture slowly - small ideas, staying late one day so they could leave early the next, and trying on new project habits. Culture takes time and effort to change, but Danny felt it was worth it. The company is slowly shifting and attracting the young employees to apply. Danny's happy that the change is causing the desired outcomes.
I've heard it said the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. Danny's way to change company culture was to start small. It seems to be working.
If you want to talk more about change contact me at Valerie.MacLeod@HainesCentre.com
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