What Accelerates Association Cultural Change?

This is the seventh in a series on Association culture, its role, how it is shaped, and how it can be changed.

What Accelerates Association Cultural Change?

No single leadership factor is a more essential prerequisite to successful change than trust. Every new change raises the underlying question that Association leaders must answer which is “Why?” People who will be impacted by a given change, need and deserve to understand the answer to that question. If trust is not present, much time and energy will be lost trying to figure out the real reason for the cultural shift.

If a change at an Association is well reasoned, it shouldn’t be that hard to explain the why behind it. But the test that determines how quickly the change gets underway is whether or not people believe the answer is the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

The Association Staff Trust Challenge

Employees may have good reasons not to trust their leaders. The trust challenge you face may have little or nothing to do with you. It may be based upon past experiences either inside or outside your organization.

We humans are often skeptical, and life sometimes has a way of giving us good reason to be so. So, as a leader you have to talk straight. Then, we have to demonstrate the truth through our actions.

The Why Opportunity

Cultural ChangeEven if the reason for change is delicate, leaders who want their culture to change cannot ignore the reason for change. People will trust leaders who explain why the organization needs to get its costs down in order to stay competitive, or the fact that the budget is not growing as fast as the demand for services requiring cost control.

What Accelerates Association Cultural Change?

Our people need and deserve the truth, and in my experience they’ll support the change if they understand it is the right and/or necessary thing to do.

With the truth on the table, people will likely find the change is for the better. And if it’s better, acceptance will help it move faster.

Next week I’ll explore the question, “What does it take to create a culture that actively supports Association change?”