To start a culture change all we need to do is two simple things:
- Do dramatic story-worthy things that represent the culture we want to create. Then let other people tell stories about it.
- Find other people who do story-worthy things that represent the culture we want to create. Then tell stories about them.
For example, if you want to create a faster moving, less perfectionist culture, instead of berating someone for sending an email without proper capitalization, send out a memo with typos in it.
Or if you want managers and employees to communicate more effectively, stop checking your computer in the middle of a conversation every time the new message sound beeps. Instead, put your computer to sleep when they walk in your office.
Or if you’re trying to create a more employee-focused culture, instead of making the bride work on her wedding day, give her the week off.
We live by stories. We tell them, repeat them, listen to them carefully, and act in accordance with them.
We can change our stories and be changed by them.