Building a Change Army
It is crucial when building a change organisation as far as is possible to build a team of positivity and merit from the outset backed up with the preparedness, knowledge and tools for nuking a blame culture and attendant toxic work environments.
Too many change programs are derailed by poisonous team dynamics, siloes and ‘us and them; mentality building up. It cannot be allowed to happen.
To begin nuking a blame culture, you need to start building the right culture. People need to be sensitised to a view, an approach and culture that sees us as an army assembled, all on the same side, to achieve something, to win something and defeat all the obstacles in our way. A soldier fighting on our side cannot be an obstacle to be defeated so we must stay on the good foot, stay on the same page and fight the fight together on the same side, This requires self-awareness, discipline, knowledge and humility on the parts of all in the change organisation, great vision, active and strategic leadership and governance from the leaders and an unerring focus on enabling, empowering and supporting that team and fostering an unassailable team ethos.
Building a blame-free Change organisation
Effective change organisations and environments cannot function with a blame culture and need trust, transparency ability and great communication skills to ensure that you are avoiding and if need be nuking a blame culture if it were to materialise.
It must be accepted that problems will arise and mistakes will happen but the leaders must ensure that the program is a safe space for people to be outset about the inputs and durations that are required for tasks from the outset of the project. This acceptance and way of working from the outset should mean you may never have to deal with nuking a blame culture or neutralising a toxic environment. A lot happens because people are just afraid.
The following are few crucial high-level tips for the guidance of your change organisation to ensure the structure is clear, conflict is avoided and a social contract springs up around which people can cohere.
- Roles and Responsibilities must be clear
- Full inclusion and as much diversity as possible
- Leave egos at the door
- Whole team ethos
- No favouritism – this is really for leaders because this communicates negative ideas to the team(s) and can, therefore, be damaging. It can create leverage who are inclined to manipulate, marginalise and blame and create unnecessary conditions of vulnerability for others,
- Call out toxic behaviour
Culture Wars – Crucial Antidote to Blame Culture
It must be borne in mind that most people have come from different backgrounds in every way and have experienced and grown and thrived or suffered in different work cultures, all of which has shaped them and their expectations and how they cope with pressure. Letting everyone know what to expect and also what is expected is helpful in creating a team ethos and giving some relief, and allaying anxieties. Fairness and inclusivity should be communicated at the outset.
Recruiting the right people should mean that a fitness consideration was made but mistakes can still happen, so it is critical to set team values and goals, and team rules for conduct to set expectations and build the right culture.
Pay attention to the diversity in your team as you build it, avoid clones who have all gone to the same schools, worked at the same places and know each other. They will feel pressured to be loyal only to each other, not the team in general but they will be very much the same in terms of ideas and methods. Creativity and innovation come from diversity. Ensure quiet people’s opinions are solicited, ensure that people in any kind of margins are sought out are included.