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Want to change your culture? Start with your projects

Colin Ellis | Feb. 4, 2015
Culture change is hard, that's why few organisations take it on. There's a reliance on new people coming in to an organisation to drive change in a way that hasn't been seen before and yet all too often those people will come up against brick walls.


If there's one thing your project should do well it's collaboration. You should already be looking at how your best projects delivered and what the organisation as a whole can learn from that.

Pulling a multi-skilled team from across the organisation and getting it to work cohesively is a difficult thing to do if you don't have the right leadership, behaviours and working environment.

Creating the right kind of physical spaces (barrier removal); making everyone part of the planning process — using Kanban for example — holding events so that teams can get to understand each other a little better and then jointly celebrating the success of the team are all things you can do to create a solution focussed, positive culture.


Innovation demands two things; an open mind and time. Your organisation should have a good mix of people who are able to keep an open mind when looking for solutions to problems, but they'll no doubt be prevented from innovating by the issue of the day.

Having the right leader will ensure that the right kind of environment will exist that supports innovation and good planning will ensure that time is built-in to allow it to flourish.

Even when you hit a roadblock, time should be found to look for different ways to solve it. Being at the forefront of new approaches and solutions will ensure that you will be an employer of choice for current and future staff for years to come.

Culture change is not something that should be undertaken lightly. You need to articulate what good looks like and then dedicate executive leadership to lead and support it.

But don't make the mistake of trying to implement it all at once. Pick something to get the ball rolling and where better to test this than in one of your projects?


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