Culture Change in the Time of Zoom

“Digital Transformation is culture change by another name” says Golden Marzipan guest speaker  Diana Danziger, Principal from The Right Hand Side.

For over 20 years, Diana has been working as an external consultant to a wide range of global companies. Her work in coaching teams and leaders mainly focused on organisational needs. In our latest breakfast briefing, Culture Change in the time of Zoom  Diana discussed the issues around remote organisational culture, the connection between purpose and culture as well as the leader’s role in changing culture.

So, can still business apply meaningful, organisational culture changes in these demanding times?

Diana Danziger is an international leadership and organisational development consultant with an extensive background in organisational psychology

The Remote Organisational Culture

Does organisational culture still exist with a remote workforce?​ The answer is…yes. However, the panorama keeps changing tremendously.

With millions of people working now from home, video conferencing services like Zoom have boomed. So, what has Zoom changed?

Diana said, “Zoom has changed how we see and interact with people”. She continued saying that the platform “has taken away many of the things we took for granted”. Regarding the impacts of this ‘working-remotely era’, Diana also emphasised that people tend to easily “lose their sense of belonging.”

Therefore, how can a sense of belonging be created and sustained under these circumstances?​ Now, more than ever, collective and collaborative projects like our series on Breakfast Briefings are pertinent and much needed to forge and maintain alliances and cohesion.

And, what about digital transformation? The importance of digital transformation is, according to Diana, “taking advantage of the technological advancements without losing the human touch.” The key she said is to ensure staff continue to talk about “We” not “I”.

Digital transformation is at the core of our group essence and services. We have been navigating the crisis sharing valuable insights through our weekly webinars

The Connection Between Purpose and Culture

 “An organisation’s purpose simply answers the question ‘why do we exist’ and its culture is just how things get done.” 

“When you put purpose and culture together,” said Diana, “you get some sense on how engaged employees are and on customers’ and stakeholders’ satisfaction”.

The core values in an organisation is always a very broad, challenging area. But, in Diana’s eyes, with a defined purpose statement this challenge can be framed and anchored.

Among the key features of a meaningful purpose statement, Diana pointed out:

  • The specificity of meaning —stating the organisation’s reason for being.
  • Mentioning the primary beneficiaries of the organisation’s work.
  • Practical and flexible (not too abstract or constraining)

The New Leadership is Changing

For the leader’s role, communication, she continued, is its broadest sense is the key characteristic to develop and to maintain. Specifically, leaders have “to listen to and to understand,” Diana continued, “what’s going on for people to address them”.

Leaders can also support culture change through storytelling and empathy. To tell a compelling story…and keep telling it. In fact, the CEO’s title should be changed to “Change Empathy Officer”.  Once the purpose and the story have been told then leaders “ should get out of the way “ and let their staff operate.

We like this article from Harvard Business Review.

Digital transformation in the workplace can and should put people first.

In an ever-changing technological reality, Diana affirmed that “curiosity and flexibility” are sought-after traits. We should aim to instil and nurture them among the employees and the organisation’s culture.

With many adversities to be overcome, meaningful culture change can still happen. Now we know that when a powerful purpose, culture and leadership are intertwined, success will follow. And, let’s not forget that, in these Zoom times, many opportunities have been created too. Let’s celebrate the good.

For more insights and to re-watch in-full our episode no. 5, click on our YouTube video and join the conversation. Do not forget to subscribe to our channel to enjoy past and future episodes too.

Episode number 5 of our second season is now live on our YouTube channel

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