For the last couple of decades that I have been around corporate enterprises, there have been too many CEO fads to count. Think about it: MRP, MRP2, ERP, Employee Engagement, Performance Management, Enterprise systems, Distributed systems, CRM, CEM and CX, OPX, Six Sigma, layered with black, green, yellow belt versions, then LEAN Project Management, and CPIM, to name a few. I recognize all of these have had intrinsic value to the organizations that have adopted them into their culture, or more precisely, those that actually integrated them into their very DNA. In the Pinwheel, we define culture as the “Way We Get Things Done Around Here”.
How to Integrate Culture into Your Organization’s DNA
One thing is for sure, “culture” is rarely seen as a program that begins and ends. Rather, it is more like an organism that grows and gains strength depending on how it is reinforced. A culture may start with leadership, but soon it alone is much more powerful than leadership, and will create virtuous or vicious cycles to protect and preserve itself.
Here’s an idea: Just say NO to MORE PROGRAMS OR INITIATIVES!!!
I mean it,…sort of. To use Prosci’s change management key questions:
- What’s changing?
- Why is it changing?
- What’s in it for me?
- What happens if I don’t change?
The introduction of any change in business, including the customer experience initiatives, must have these questions answered in order to integrate them into the culture, not to create or enhance a “program”. Change management methodology based on research like Prosci is critical to helping organizations create and maintain a readiness for change.
To Pinwheel, a customer centered culture can be built intentionally. Most businesses start out this way, but begin to favor certain stakeholders over others, and the culture becomes muddy and confused. When customer experience programs align with core values, with direct links to mission and vision, then there is a high probability of getting them integrated into the DNA of your powerful culture.
BIG IDEA: For any great initiative to thrive and succeed, everything must be in alignment. If you are bringing on change for CX, can all of your employees answer the four questions above? This just might be the place to start.