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Culture Change: Beware the CEO Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

Leadership Blog

My leadership blog is all about helping current and emerging leaders learn how to transform difficult conversations and dysfunctional workplace relationships into positive and productive ones.

Brie Barker

Culture Change: Beware the CEO Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

by | Leadership Development

Most would agree that it’s almost impossible to successfully bring about a major culture change throughout an organization without it’s leader as the ultimate champion of the initiative.
However, this very same leader/champion can also be the reason the desired culture change is doomed to fail.

Culture Change “Case Study”

Part 1 – Things Are Looking Up!

A fairly large, decades-old organization has the following cultural characteristics:
⇒  a command-and-control approach to leadership and management
⇒  a culture of isolated and competing silos
The organization’s CEO has decided that there has to be a significant shift if they’re going to survive and thrive — a shift that creates a culture of genuine collaboration and cooperation.
Most of the organization’s executives, managers and general staff agree with the CEO and are excited to see the CEO assume the role of champion for the change.
The CEO tasks the HR Manager with issuing an RFP to external learning and development companies to outline, then design and deliver, a 3-year program that will change the necessary attitudes and behaviours required to manifest the culture change.
The selection committee — which includes the CEO — awards a company the initial contract, which calls for a pilot workshop for the entire C-Suite and a representative from each department.  Pending a favourable outcome, the company will be awarded the full, 3-year contract.

“Wow!” I hear some people saying.  “I know a few organizations that would kill their prize sheep for a CEO like this!”

Frightened Sheep
The selected L&D company comes in and delivers the pilot workshop.  They’ve not only has given the organization everything they wanted to see based on the RFP and subsequent discussions, but the methodologies embedded in the design of the workshop modelled the values and collaborative approach the CEO wanted to see instilled in the organization.
The HR Manager was highly impressed.
A few days later, the HR Manager informs the L&D company that the CEO has decided not to engage them for the 3-year contract and that they will be seeking a different vendor.

“Uhhhh … what’s that, Brie?”


Culture Change “Case Study”

Part 2 – What the Heck Happened?!

Leave a comment with what you think could have happened to derail this train!
Next week, I’ll share with you what I think happened and what we can learn from it.
Have a productive and enjoyable day!
— Brie
P.S. Did you think the quotation marks I bracketed Case Study with were an indication of punctuative ignorance? 

Blog Post

Culture Change: Beware the CEO Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

by | Leadership Development

Culture Change: Beware the CEO Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

by | Leadership Development

Most would agree that it’s almost impossible to successfully bring about a major culture change throughout an organization without it’s leader as the ultimate champion of the initiative.
However, this very same leader/champion can also be the reason the desired culture change is doomed to fail.

Culture Change “Case Study”

Part 1 – Things Are Looking Up!

A fairly large, decades-old organization has the following cultural characteristics:

⇒  a command-and-control approach to leadership and management

⇒  a culture of isolated and competing silos

The organization’s CEO has decided that there has to be a significant shift if they’re going to survive and thrive — a shift that creates a culture of genuine collaboration and cooperation.
Most of the organization’s executives, managers and general staff agree with the CEO and are excited to see the CEO assume the role of champion for the change.
The CEO tasks the HR Manager with issuing an RFP to external learning and development companies to outline, then design and deliver, a 3-year program that will change the necessary attitudes and behaviours required to manifest the culture change.
The selection committee — which includes the CEO — awards a company the initial contract, which calls for a pilot workshop for the entire C-Suite and a representative from each department.  Pending a favourable outcome, the company will be awarded the full, 3-year contract.

“Wow!” I hear some people saying.  “I know a few organizations that would kill their prize sheep for a CEO like this!”

Frightened Sheep
The selected L&D company comes in and delivers the pilot workshop.  They’ve not only has given the organization everything they wanted to see based on the RFP and subsequent discussions, but the methodologies embedded in the design of the workshop modelled the values and collaborative approach the CEO wanted to see instilled in the organization.
The HR Manager was highly impressed.
A few days later, the HR Manager informs the L&D company that the CEO has decided not to engage them for the 3-year contract and that they will be seeking a different vendor.

“Uhhhh … what’s that, Brie?”


Culture Change “Case Study”

Part 2 – What the Heck Happened?!

Leave a comment with what you think could have happened to derail this train!

Next week, I’ll share with you what I think happened and what we can learn from it.
Have a productive and enjoyable day!
— Brie
P.S. Did you think the quotation marks I bracketed Case Study with were an indication of punctuative ignorance? 
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