By Shanti Wilson
Cultural transformation is a term used often in organizations going through a big change. It’s become the norm in health care, to the point that “cultural transformation” occurs multiple times in every health care organization.
The consulting firm SmartMinds defines cultural transformation as “the dynamic process of irreversibly changing the outlook (culture) of an organization; and correspondingly its policies, processes, and behaviors that result in a more effective mode of operation.”
While most health care organizations do well updating policies and processes to support cultural transformation, they often struggle with encouraging corresponding staff behaviors to support it. That shouldn’t be surprising, considering how we’re physically hard-wired to resist change, even when it’s beneficial. The emotional control center of our brains, the amygdala, interprets “change” as a physical threat, and releases fear, fight or flight hormones to protect us from change.
Within that core physical context, you will want to be mindful of the human dynamics that could positively or negatively affect your cultural transformation efforts. Organizations seeking successful changes to support strategic goals and cultural transformation need behaviors that align with their efforts. This means:
- Understand your internal and external stakeholders and their motivations
- Develop an action plan to achieve your cultural transformation goals
- Celebrate your positive efforts toward cultural transformation