U-turn starts with identifying, replacing cultural bad habits

The old adage of “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” has been relegated to the dustbin of business clichés.

The old adage of “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” has been relegated to the dustbin of business clichés.

As any business leader recognizes, if you’re not looking to continually improve, there is a competitor just waiting to take over your market, customers and products.

In spite of our best efforts at continually improving, we may find that we land in a difficult situation that requires major effort and turnaround activities. The causes vary, and the source could be external or internal factors or a combination.

What can we do when things go south?

There are many techniques and a plethora of management books written on the subject to guide you in turning around adverse situations. Looking deep into your culture and the assumptions that are driving your activities is always a powerful place to begin.

However, depending on the company, many organizations are reluctant to take that plunge. While almost all successful leaders understand the enormous power that culture has on how their business conducts itself, diving into the culture pool may seem like diving into a bottomless abyss of distraction and effort with unknown outcomes and results.

In fact, making large cultural changes can be messy, disruptive and have limited results unless there is a long-term commitment to sustain the work necessary for change.

So, is it possible to wade into the culture pool and get in turnaround mode without wearing a life jacket? The answer is yes.

The forces preventing your company from the desired results may be embedded in the practices being used.

Sometimes, these practices are habits that have become ingrained and accepted and are unchecked.

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