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Managing Cultural Change

Doug Plucknette | Contributing Host, RELIABILITY CONNECT

In this session we’ll be discussing how to manage cultural change, and sustain that change.  In almost all surveys done regarding a company’s performance, one nearly constant about what needs to change to improve performance is the company’s culture.  That shouldn’t surprise anyone.  It ranks right up there with leadership.  So, we’ll be exploring that particular issue.  One thing we’ve found that is also constant is that if you want cultural change, you must:

  1. Articulate a compelling reason for change (because I said so isn’t nearly enough).
  2. Make sure there’s something in the change that benefits the workforce, and it’s not always money.
  3. Facilitate employee participation in the development of the changes, so they have a sense of ownership for the changes, some purpose, control, and direction of the changes.
  4. Embed the changes within the organization’s culture through procedures, standards, checklists, etc., BUT be flexible enough to allow for future changes, so that the culture is constantly evolving and improving. Culture change isn’t something you do, like a project, and it’s done.  It’s constantly evolving, and you must make sure it’s evolving in the direction you want.

We’ll cover the details of these principles, along with an admonition – if the change takes longer than organizational or leadership attention span, it is doomed to failure.

Someone once told me if you’re looking for a good excuse for poor performance, Company Culture ranks number 1!

As someone who has lived through working for a company that was once considered one of the most valuable brands on earth to experiencing the other side of that coin where employees had no confidence that corporate leadership had the ability to right a sinking ship, I can’t begin to express the importance of understanding your company culture and more important, assessing it on a regular basis.

First and foremost, I would like to make the point that your company doesn’t need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to a consulting company to find out your company culture in in pitiful condition. It simply takes leaders who are willing to ask questions, listen to answers and act on areas of concern.

Methods for understanding company culture

  1. Define what a strong/healthy company culture looks like
  2. Determine what your company culture is at multiple levels and in multiple organizations using round table discussions or blind surveys
  • Corporate
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Research & Development
  • Manufacturing, Engineering & Maintenance
  1. Identify areas of concern
  2. Develop and communicate a plan for change
  3. Encourage open discussion in regard to progress

Sounds simple – The reality, changing a poor culture to a strong and health culture takes leaders who are actively engaged.

We hope you enjoy this episode!

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About the Author

Doug Plucknette Contributing Host, RELIABILITY CONNECT

Doug Plucknette has been in the Field of Asset Management, Maintenance and Reliability for 38 years. In 1999 he founded Reliability Solutions Inc. As the founder of RCM Blitz™ and author of the book Reliability Centered Maintenance using RCM Blitz™, he has provided reliability training and consulting services to numerous companies around the world, large and small, including such Fortune 500 companies as Cargill, Whirlpool, Honda, Kraft-Heinz, Schlumberger, Corning, Invista, and Newmont Mining.
Doug has made key contributions to standard reliability measures for manufacturing, and reliability training programs worldwide. He has trained numerous client RCM Facilitators and performed RCM analyses on hundreds of pieces of manufacturing equipment.
Prior to his work as a consultant, Doug worked 19 years at Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester, NY in positions as a skilled tradesperson, lead person, Maintenance Supervisor, and Reliability Engineer.
Recognized as an Industry Expert, Doug has published over 50 articles, written two books, has been a featured speaker at dozens of conferences and Key Note Speaker for two Global Reliability Conferences.