I told him not to change the performance review system, the rewards packages, the training programs. Don't change anything. Not yet anyway. For now, just change the stories. For a while there will be a disconnect between the new stories and the entrenched systems promoting the old culture. And that disconnect will create tension. Tension that can be harnessed to create mechanisms to support the new stories.
To start a culture change all we need to do is two simple things:
- Do dramatic story-worthy things that represent the culture we want to create. Then let other people tell stories about it.
- Find other people who do story-worthy things that represent the culture we want to create. Then tell stories about them.
The power of storytelling – one person's experience with a service organisation with a toxic culture: