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Commitment to Cultural Transformation

I’ve been thinking about the power of cultural transformation. When we first discussed highlighting this subject, I wasn’t sure how we would talk about it. It is impossible to pin down cultural transformation to a simple formula or a series of events that “work” every time. But we realized we could offer stories from real people who are successfully transforming the culture of their companies from an unconscious win/lose mindset to that of partnership. Partnership can and does produce extraordinary results.

We’ve put together several stories about the kind of leadership it takes to create lasting change. Cultural transformation requires real leaders throughout a company. It includes union and hourly employees, administrative and salaried, managers and non-managers. And it requires people who have the courage and tenacity to stand against the entrenched attitudes and behaviors of the past. As you will see with Sylvain-Yves Longval, the mill manager of a 350-person mill outside of Houston, Texas, transforming a workplace culture takes a tireless commitment, a pure intention that says “We can do it.”

We live in a time when change is imperative to the survival of organizations. In order to thrive in a healthy and productive manner, each and every one of us needs to be willing to deal with our own personal set of limitations and beliefs. Organizational transformation gives us a unique opportunity to do just that. After all, most of us do not choose the people we work with or the design of the organization. But we can make it more of what we know is possible and create more freedom and joy for ourselves and those around us.

There is no straight line from point A, old culture, to point B, new culture. Culture change is a messy, time-consuming and energy-draining endeavor. It is also invigorating, exciting and endlessly rewarding.

When you read these stories, I hope you feel inspired by the commitment human beings have to making things better.

Further Resources:
Interviews: Transformational Leadership
Spotlight On: Tom Hengelsberg, Architect, Truex, Cullins & Partners, Burlington, VT
Bob Collez, Mill Manager, Augusta Newsprint, Alabama, GA

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