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“Workers watch your feet, not your lips” - changing culture at scale

Eat Sleep Work Repeat

Bruce Daisley

Workplace Culture, Social Sciences, Management, Work, Culture, Business, Science

4.7991 Ratings

🗓️ 16 April 2024

⏱️ 54 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


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Today’s top episode goes to the heart of an issue that a lot of people raise with me.

They say ‘where do you start when changing a culture’.

To some extent it’s what the episode about the hospital trust in Barking was about, going in and changing the culture of a huge organisation.

I saw one of today’s guests Darren Ashby speak at an event - talking through the specifics of how his company Business Four Zero tried to change the culture of Tesco. Business Four Zero are one of a group of organisations who work with leaders to change company culture. I know there’s a few of these firms. I attended a dazzling event by one firm called Scarlett Abbot in this field about a month ago. 

Darren is joined by Atif Sheikh as they talk through the specifics of what they did with firms like Electronic Arts, Aviva and Tesco. They’ve turned some of their work into a book which you can buy here.

Some of the things that stood out for me:

  • What’s the number one thing you look for in a high performing culture? How internal are they? How much time are they spending on themselves vs the outside world?
  • Only 28% of workers say they are connected to purpose
  • Culture is what are you committed to as group - emotional commitment of what you want to create
  • Values - before you define your values know that there are 6 core values shared amongst everyone (sometimes called the 6 Pillars of Character - Trust, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship). These should not be your differentiator. These are universal basic expectations. You need to define something differentiating
  • Leaders' role is to bring energy: Satya Nadella told Microsoft’s execs: ‘find the rose petals in the field of sh*t’
  • So how do you elevate a culture? They introduce 2 or 3 critical behaviours that elevate a culture Might be ‘be kinder’ And they build a process of how you might enact those behaviours

For example Intercontinental Hotel Group

  • Had switched from being a hotel owner to a franchise business
  • CEO needed to remove silos
  • What did they need? Too many people in the business didn’t understand how they made money - it made spending decisions hard. So they focussed on ‘think return’
  • Additionally it had become complacent, so they decided to ‘move fast’
  • Finally they agreed to ‘talk straight’ with each other

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Registered reference number 9,000846. Hello this is Eekes Leekwerk I'm Bruce Dazley, it's a podcast about workplace


culture. I hope you're well. I've been very excited.


Raffan Adal is set to play a tennis match today, so that's a big day for me.


Maybe only a few more weeks of Raffa left. If you subscribe to the newsletter then you'll know that I


released a whole research deck in December which is still available if you sign up


and I've got a nice project that I've been working on which is along those same lines really I've put something new


together I guess it's something that could have been a book more people listen to the


podcast and read my newsletter than read the best-selling book every week in the UK and maybe these new


means of communication are more effective ways to get ideas out there.


So I'm releasing something in a couple of weeks that's involved me


interviewing a lot of different people and bringing a lot of different thought


together. So if you're interested in that, please do sign up in the show notes.


It's the top link.


Today's episode goes to the heart of an issue


that I think a lot of people raise with me,


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