A Shy Leader, Running and Changing Your Culture

Running Shoes

Isn’t developing a positive working culture at the heart of everything good? Great customer service, better customer experience, higher productivity and employee engagement, more innovation etc etc.

Isn’t it?

But, isn’t it also easy to talk about but harder to do and create?

Why is that? Well, isn’t it because culture change requires us to do different things and we, as humans, often find that hard?

I think that’s true.

So, here’s a short video that I’d like to share with you that features Douglas Conant, former CEO of Campbell Soup, speaking to Booz & Company senior partner Jon Katzenbach about how he, as introvert CEO, changed his culture and how he connected with people more effectively by putting on a pair of running shoes.

Great story, right?

What I particularly liked was how he used a common context or purpose, in this case it was Campbell Soup’s 10k-A-Day Wellness Challenge, to help him connect better with his employees.

What I also liked was that he took the opportunity (when it arose) to get out of the office, to get out from behind his computer and email, to not accept another meeting and to talk to people on the same level, at their places of work, on terms that they set, or in language they understood.

Too often have I seen examples of firms that talk about culture change but then do nothing to back it up.

Communicating what needs to change from the top down is only talking at people.

In my experience, this doesn’t create change. If anything it may create resistance as people, generally, don’t like to be talked at.

If you want to give change a real chance to happen, do like Douglas and start with yourselfand your own culture change.

Lead by example and keep leading by example. Consistency and continuing to show up builds trust and is more likely to result in people wanting to listen, follow or connect with you.

Photo Credit: timtak via Compfight cc

Comments

  1. Hello Adrian,
    I thank you for sharing this video. It occurs to me that the whole point is connecting with others. Through connection one moves from I to We. And that makes all the difference when it comes to organisational performance. I particularly like this paragraph of yours:

    “What I also liked was that he took the opportunity (when it arose) to get out of the office, to get out from behind his computer and email, to not accept another meeting and to talk to people on the same level, at their places of work, on terms that they set, or in language they understood.”

    Maz

  2. Adrian, I was once told you can’t change anybody else, only yourself.

    Which in turn will change the way people respond to you.

    It strikes me that that was exactly what Doug Conant was doing

    James

  3. Hi, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one
    and i was just wondering if you get a lot of spam feedback?
    If so how do you prevent it, any plugin or anything you can advise?
    I get so much lately it’s driving me crazy so any assistance is very much appreciated.

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