- Posted by James Canada
- On August 3, 2020
When fear and distrust infect an organization, leaders can — and must — take decisive action. That’s because trust is a commodity. When it’s gone, its loss can hurt a company the same way it hurts an individual.
But leaders can change their culture and rebuild trust! Here’s how.
Begin with Leadership – Restoring trust will require an organization’s executives to demonstrate leadership. It may require fundamental changes in the values held by the executives, as well as the rest of the organization.
Create and Communicate the Right Competitive Context – Know what you are in business to do and do it. Encourage collaboration and commitment to the same goals. Competition should be with other businesses.
Deliver A Concise, Well-Articulated Strategy – Tap the insights of employees. This sends a powerful message: Things will be different. Our belief in your abilities and value extends beyond your job to your thoughts about where our company should go.
Reshape and Clarify Your Performance Measures – Consider the function of each measure and its significance to success. Eliminate or rework any that are not crucial to strategy and growth.
Rebuild Your Structure – Replace the “tower” or “pyramid” with a warehouse — a structure that is more horizontal and with fewer interior walls. Widen spans of control and reduce management layers. Expect your structure to be temporary and be ready for change.
Create a Supportive People Practice – Develop core behaviors for interpersonal relationships. Value humor and enjoy each other’s company. The same environment that produces high personal growth rates produces creativity, productivity, and vitality.
It’s unrealistic to assume a company can easily apply these suggestions and regain trust instantly. The best advice for changing culture comes from Lance Secretan: “The place to start, of course, is with ourselves.”
Jim is an operations, business development and program/project management leader with Executive Management experience in both Service and Manufacturing environments.