LeadFirst has been on the forefront of serious and large scale culture shaping initiatives for over 30 years. We’ve worked with hundreds of organizations, from FORTUNE 100 behemoths to fast growth startups to forward thinking non-profits. We’ve witnessed, and contributed to, the evolution of such efforts. Our approach begins with the ability to define culture with precision and measure it period over period as is done with all assets of significant value. And research has proven that few are as valuable, or as hard to replicate, as culture. This measurement system allows client organization to identify and remove the most significant barriers, whether structures, policies, processes or behaviors, to creating the culture required for their strategic success.
While this form of measurement and analysis, enabling a systematic removal of cultural barriers, is absolutely necessary for sustainable culture change, it is not sufficient. Just as important is the ability to enlist the leadership team, especially the executive team, in a process of transformation. The executive team cannot simply sponsor culture change; they must be an essential part of it. They cast a shadow seen by all including how they engage people to how they make decisions. To create the culture required to execute their business strategies, they must begin to lead as though it already exists.
The Two Essential Pathways are executed through the ASPIR culture change process. It has evolved through 30 years of experience and is designed for both speed and sustainability. The ASPIR process begins with a deep but highly flexible cultural assessment identifying the Executive Preferred Future culture (future state) as well as the Actual culture (current state). Most importantly it identifies the most critical issues that lay in the gap between the two. This enables focused and aggressive action.
Simultaneously, the top bands of leadership, especially the Executive Team, are engaged in a process of Synchronization. This ensures strong alignment on the organization’s vision, values and strategic direction and connects this alignment to the leadership framework required to execute on them.
The Executive Team drives execution through a Culture Action Team which is responsible for carefully crafting an enterprise wide Culture Plan. This Plan is focused on both immediate change and long term sustainability.