There is a feature which I notice seems to be common to all CEOs who successfully change the culture of their organisation.
A change occurs at the BE level, and the journey becomes personal as well as organisational. The BE level refers to what goes on inside our heads and hearts - the values, beliefs, feelings and mental models which determine our behaviour. Once a change occurs at this level, it is transformational in the sense that one never goes back to the original state. For example,
- A leader who had a mental model that pushing sales will produce results shifts their belief system to one which considers remarkable service to be the key to success
- A leader who had all the answers has a realization that the input from others adds rich new dimensions.
Most leaders would say that they already agree that remarkable service matters and input from others is important. But their behaviour indicates that this is not true. Only when the behaviour is consistent with the expoused belief has a shift occurred at the BE level.
These shifts are personally transformational. They are so exciting that they lead to a passion to learn more and pursue a path of personal development. The culture journey usually commences because of a burning platform at the business level. If leaders go through the development journey usually associated with culture change (coaching, training, feedback, etc) with an open mind and an open heart, they enable a change at the BE level. With this, the burning platform becomes a burning ambition.
Here is a CEO I work with describing one of those ah-ah BE level moments for him. Check out the clip. Peter Fuda hosting a recent Human Synergistics conference, gave insight into burning platform, burning ambition in relation to his doctorate research on leadership transformation.