Cultural Awareness: The Key to Successful Change Management

People in groups tend to copy, train, and correct each other to keep things safe and the same.


has an enormous impact on our change management projects. Our research on best practices in change management reveals that 88% of participants consider that cultural awareness is important or very important for a change management initiative. Being culturally aware allows change professionals to personalize their change management approach, apply specific adaptations from a cultural point of view and, at the same time, avoid specific cultural obstacles and create effective communication plans taking into account the culture of the audience.

Organizational culture depends on expected cultural changes. As such, cultural change results in new behaviors, values, beliefs and strategies. Ultimately, the change results in a new organizational culture. People who don't like the initiative for change may flatly refuse to adopt the changes and actively encourage others to do the same.

When key stakeholders, such as employees, are opposed to the expected changes, the entire change process is jeopardized. Internal change involves changes within the control of the organization, such as processes and systems, human resources, decision-making, and policies and procedures. Once the changes are planned, management can use several tactics to transition staff to a new environment. While all of these factors play a fundamental role in any change project, culture remains one of the main objectives of change managers.

We enable organizations around the world to achieve results of change and increase their capacity for change through change management solutions based on holistic, research-based and easy-to-use tools, methodologies and services. The example of organizational culture change presented by Southwest Airlines and HubSpot illustrates that the process of change is unique to individual companies. Align expected changes with the organization's processes and strategies, including mission and vision statements. An intelligent manager would create a sense of urgency for change and form a support group that would spread the vision.

We argue that those who work with and within their current culture to modify critical behaviors are more successful than those who try to alter their culture. In his book entitled Successful Change: Old Dogs Learn New Tricks, he analyzed several important factors for change. Key stakeholders, such as employees who are unwilling to accept and adapt to new circumstances, disrupt processes of cultural change. Cultural awareness is essential for successful change management initiatives.

It allows us to personalize our approach while avoiding cultural obstacles and creating effective communication plans tailored to our audience. We must align expected changes with our organization's processes and strategies while creating a sense of urgency for change among key stakeholders. By working with our current culture to modify critical behaviors instead of trying to alter it completely, we can ensure successful outcomes.

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