July 29, 2016 Johannasawalha


“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” This now popular quote attributed to Peter Drucker is pointing to the Titanic ship it is to steer, not people, but a culture in a new direction. Apparently, it’s been top of mind for business leaders recently. What is culture though…? Isn’t it really a bunch of habits consciously or unconsciously agreed upon by a bunch of people…? And that if we change the habits, we can change the culture…?

The most engrained and potentially sinister habits we have are our thinking habits, mainly because they are not overt and therefore not easily impacted. If a person or a group of people in a company implicitly or explicitly have agreed that ¨the company simply sucks¨, it can be a real challenge to break that thinking up. It is not even their ¨fault¨. In other words, if aware of their own thinking, they would likely not consciously conspire to take the company down.

In coaching people to drop negative habits, there are a few things I focus on:

  1. It’s not even the people, but their minds, that need a powerful distraction from their ordinary way of thinking. The distraction needs to be inspiring, and therefore comes from a place of bigger thinking than their habitual one. One has to give the mind something to do or it will complain. A bigger vision, a greater goal, a loftier purpose is a top remedy for this.
  2. Energy management. It takes a lot of extra brain power to change habits. People need to economize their thinking. The motivation for cultivating a ¨more positive¨ frame of mind might be that it takes a lot of energy to engage in negativity. We even know by the way we feel – drained. Although it takes energy to change our minds, I daresay it takes even more staying negative.
  3. How people see themselves. We tend to like ourselves a lot more when we are positive and ¨the bigger person¨. Even when we are perhaps justifiably angry, there is a part of you that just doesn’t like being that way. Fostering a new way of ¨being¨ leads to a better self-image and more self-esteem.

Much more can be said about this era we are in of ¨culture & change management speak¨. A great article providing further detail can be found at:http://onforb.es/1RO0gd3


Coach Jo

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