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Crowdsourcing Cultural Change: A Recipe for Creativity and Conflict

Posted on Categories Culture/Employee Engagement, Savage ThinkingTags

Cultural change within a company will always cause friction and growing pains. Some of the pushback can be alleviated by getting feedback at every level of the company throughout the process. Unfortunately, this can cause it’s own problems, as people voice their own ideas of what the company is and should be.

This post is a little about our own personal story around culture. Companies hire us to help them with their employer brand, communications around change and culture-building, so we wanted to take a focused look inward using that same expertise. Over the past year, Savage has taken a look at our internal cultural to make sure it reflects the fact that we‰’re a purposeful group of brilliant people looking to revolutionize the way people do business. We chose to involve everyone in the culture change, which was both positive and challenging at the same time.

Positive: People take ownership of the culture

Because every one of us has been responsible for some part of shaping this culture, it‰’s a part of all of us. We each have our own element of the change that we‰’re most excited about or proud of, which makes us work harder and smarter and more purposefully.

Challenge: People naturally bring preconceived notions to the table

When the process began, each person had their own idea of what a purposeful company looked like. We brought preconceived notions based on other companies we wanted to emulate, previous roles in other businesses and dreams of what would make the culture great. Obviously, not all changes could be made, especially as some directly conflicted. But by openly discussing our ideas, we‰’ve been able to find solutions that work best for our people and our circumstances.

Positive: Creativity comes from all corners

Every Savage has an opinion, whether they choose to voice it loudly or keep it to themselves. We asked for feedback and suggestions in a dozen different ways: by email and handwritten note and phone and journal and more. Whether alone or in company meetings or one-on-one get-togethers, every person found a way to contribute to the culture change ‰- and dozens of heads are far better than one.

Challenge: We’re all human, and hardwired to like what we’re used to

Some people simply don‰’t like change. For others, particular details of a culture shift will grate on their nerves. For whatever reason, there will always be people who resist culture change. If you‰’re changing for the right reasons, though, even those who find change disruptive can see the value in the movement.

Positive: Rowing in the same direction

Because we all know where we came from and how we got from point A to point B, the Savages have a shared understanding of where this company is going. We know its purpose, and we can see how our personal purposes fit in. We‰’re all rowing in the same direction, which makes for some (excuse the mixed metaphor) smooth sailing.

Overall, implementing this cultural shift by involving every employee has been a challenge, but it has made the culture and the company stronger.

Avatar photoSavage Brands believes in unleashing the good inherent within all organizations. Business results are driven by connecting with people at the belief level. That’s why we align everything a company says and does with its Purpose through a proven process that links strategy and execution with “why.” We solve the challenges corporate America faces by building tribal loyalty from the inside out, focusing on people first to deliver authentic brand experiences. Savage builds purposeful brands, communications, leaders and cultures.


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