Recently I spoke to a large group of HR people, and the question came up again, "What is the role of HR in culture change?" This is the most common question I get asked by HR people.
None of us feel we have enough time. It’s a finite resource, and it forces us to make choices. Those choices send signals about what we really value. One of the strongest symbols of a culture is how time is spent. When people see this changing, they start to believe your communication about values.
Yesterday I had a conversation with an OD manager who used this word to describe his organisation"s goal in relation to their efforts on culture next year. "We need to refresh our culture and to re-engage people in our purpose for wanting to improve it". Given so many companies have dedicated effort already to building values and behaviour that suits their goals and strategies, there is likely to come a moment where it seems important to refresh.
I am often asked for a summary of what I find are the 5 factors which most influence culture.
HR has always appeared to be the natural home for the mechanics of leading culture change. In recent years, however, I’ve observed another human resource in the executive team. A person whose influence over culture is potentially the most powerful of all: The Chief Financial Officer.