Organizational culture is often cited as a barrier to change. We've all heard – and even made – calls for cultural change. It's true that organizations need to understand, critique, and often evolve their cultures. However, you don't change a culture by ordaining cultural change.
Culture follows behavior. Culture is “the way we do things around here”. So, to change the culture, you have to change what you do. The best expressions of this come from therapy and self-help. You may have heard the slogan “Fake it till you make it”. Or “love is a verb”. Both sayings go to the heart of change. You have to do something different if you want things to be different.
For organizations struggling with the idea of cultural change, there's no single big secret – just lots of small, practical steps. Try something new. Live with the discomfort. Reflect. Experiment.
Culture isn't something you're stuck with. It's a way of describing how the organization behaves. And that's all. You don't need to change the culture. You need to do something different. The culture will take care of itself.