Contributing to a Culture Change

I got a chance recently to speak to a group of students. I was describing my thoughts on converting a culture like we’ve been working on at our company as we become “leaner.”

One of those listening sought me out after I finished. “Those ideas sound good but you don’t understand the place where I work. They would never allow it.”

My answer to that is be the best you can be at controlling what you control.

Regardless of your environment, you have choices about how you interact with others and lead.

You can listen more. Work to have ideas shared and tried.

You can praise others more readily. Acknowledge good work as you see it and good content as you hear it.

Involve others. Engage others in setting goals and meeting them. Set personal, local standards for safety or housekeeping.

Express appreciation to colleagues. Heck, even express appreciation to the boss who you think doesn’t “get it.”

Celebrate success. Make a little noise when your team does something good.

None of these things on the list are against the rules. No one will stop you from doing them. If you are persistent in doing them, you will make a difference. Your skills will grow. Your influence will increase.

Your environment around you just may change.