Culture Shift

Does your Change Initiative Require a Culture Shift?
When does a new result require a significant culture shift?

Difficulty
Desired results will take more effort to achieve than past results.
Direction
Desired results signal a significant change in direction for the organization.
Deployment
Desired results require a large-scale deployment or redeployment of people or other resources.
Development
Desired results demand that the organization develop a new capability or core competency.

How does the culture at DHS support or challenge your Capstone project desired outcome?
As a result, what advantages or barriers have you experienced?
What advantages or barriers do you anticipate as your project progresses?
If a culture change is necessary, what is your plan to influence this change?
Unfreeze, Change, Refreeze
Principles of Making a Cultural Change

Principle 1
Survival anxiety or guilt must be greater than learning anxiety.

  • Provide enough disconfirming data to cause serious discomfort and motivation to change
  • Connect the disconfirming data to important goals and values, causing anxiety and/or guilt.
Principle 2
Learning anxiety must be reduced rather than increasing survival anxiety.
The need to change produces learning anxiety. This can be based on:

  • Fear of loss of power or position
  • Fear of temporary incompetence
  • Fear of punishment for incompetence
  • Fear of loss of personal identify
  • Fear of loss of group membership

Two ways to overcome learning anxiety:

  • Survival anxiety or guilt must be greater than learning anxiety.
  • Learning anxiety must be reduced rather than increasing survival anxiety.

Creating psychological safety—implement all

  • A compelling positive vision
  • Formal training
  • Involvement of the learner—manage their own informal learning process
  • Practice fields, coaches, and feedback
  • Positive role models
  • Support groups in which learning problems can be aired and discussed
  • Systems and structures that are consistent with the new way of thinking and working
Principle 3
The change goal must be defined concretely in terms of the specific problem you are trying to fix, not as “culture change.”
Principle 4
Old cultural elements can be destroyed by eliminating the people who “carry those elements, but new cultural elements can only be learned if the new behavior leads to success and satisfaction.
Principle 5
Culture change is always transformative change that requires a period of unlearning that is psychologically painful.