How does Organisational Culture affect Change Management?

Today we peek at one of the topics in Step 3 of our Change Management Course – Your Approach to Change.

Our 8 Steps to Change Management Course helps our clients to put in place a Change Management Plan to achieve Digital Transformation.

Our next course starts in December or March – find out more here:

There are several influencing factors when deciding on your approach to Change Management, but the type of organisational culture is one of the considerations. To explore this in further detail, we have summarised some common organisational structures based on Gareth Morgan Organisational Metaphors (1986) and summed up some of the typical change management practices that align.

Machine – Top-Down Approach

  • Culture – Typically a Machine represents an organisation with top down management structures executing well-defined structure and processes with clear objectives. Compliance and discipline are expected with good management control.
  • Vision – Clear business rules and expectations of staff with standardised processes.
  • Approach – Change is driven from top down and supported by Consultants. It should be well planned and controlled with clear targets. Resistance should be managed, and blockers should be reduced.

Political – Representative Approach

  • Culture – Influential and powerful characters within the organisation can override the published structure. Coalitions of people are more important than traditional team structure when tackling change.
  • Vision – Influential individuals can influence peers and create a coalition to make change happen focussing resources on respective areas.
  • Approach – Powerful influencers generate buy-in and create a champion group. There is representation of views across staff and input of expertise. There will be winners and losers.

Organisms – Collaborative Approach

  • Culture – There is no set organisational approach and departments tend to be self-managing with flexibility to evolve systems and processes as they need too, with cross-departmental dependencies and flow of information as required.
  • Vision – There is a clear rational for change which people buy-in-to. There is participation and collaboration to develop solutions with departmental teams implementing solutions to meet needs.
  • Approach – Change is typically led by HR/Improvement/Ops Teams in response to internal or external influencers. Research techniques are deployed with participation of stakeholders to co-design solutions.

Flux and Transformation – Bottom Up

  • Culture – The structure is influenced by the environment and not one person or team. There is capacity to self-organise, change and self-renew and there is flexibility to overcome chaos and complexity. Typically a entrepreneurial and start up culture.
  • Vision – Change emerges according to need or tensions that arise. Managers may identify challenges and present solutions in an embryonic way to meet their needs.
  • Approach – Change is initiated from the grass-roots with management figures facilitating the process to solve problems and implement solutions. A manager will host collective discussions where by a plan is produced and presented to authority for acceptance to pursue ahead.

I am hosting a 30 minute Facebook Live on this topic within my Digital Transformation Facebook Group this Thursday if you want to join me

Our 8 Step Course to Change Management helps our clients to put in place a Change Management Plan to achieve Digital Transformation. – Our next course starts in December or March. Find out more here: –

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