My day job is working with companies who are needing to 'change'. This focus comes with lots of reasons, most of them are unfortunate basket cases, mainly because the best time to change is similar to the best time to do repairs on your house e.g. when the sun's shining.
We see lots of companies who are keen to change but decline to discover the internal 'change makers' or recruit external ones because of the lame excuse called 'culture fit'.
Change is pretty scary for many people, particularly if it seems like it's your job that could be cut as part of that change, but what if you had a crystal ball, what do you think M&S, Thomas Cook, Debenhams and others would have done different back when the sun was shining - correct answer is NOTHING, yup that's right, nothing!
True culture change means altering the way the organization lives and breathes. It shapes the way people make decisions, get their work done, what they prioritize, and how they interact with colleagues, clients, and customers. It is really only successful and powerful when business leaders see it as their responsibility, and see HR as a resource for helping them achieve it. Consider a recently published longitudinal study by Anthony Boyce and colleagues that found culture “comes first” in predicting sales, as mediated by customer satisfaction. Surely creating that culture is just as much of a sales concern as an HR priority.
That’s why culture change has to be a collaborative project.
The traditional retail sector has lumbered along for many years, when the internet arrived far too many of them simply saw it as a threat to 'cannabilising' the physical store network and did very little, a few of them followed the herd and added a website, but all done at a very slow pace.
In my experience you can introduce new processes, new technology, and yes even new people, but if the mindset of the company (it's culture) doesn't change then it's all wasted time and effort.
Today's retailers need to cease pissing about as if they have another 10 years to sort stuff out, they not only need to create an internal disruption team by identifying the internal 'change makers' (every single company has these) and get them to look at the business as if its going tits up anytime soon, embrace what's already disrupting them, and even the new trendy eCommerce only businesses with something we all use every single day, and that is social media..
While culture change can be an important and exciting project for HR, making it HR’s sole responsibility doesn’t work out as anyone had hoped. Too often, it devolves into a transactional “box-ticking” exercise. it is often unjustly regarded as “just more to do from HR.” This isn’t through bad intention or lack of belief that the culture change matters. It’s usually because of competing priorities.