In Flock’s work helping companies transform their marketing, there are two critical success factors that are often overlooked: culture and confidence.
When we are approached by clients, they often want to discuss structures, processes, agencies, technologies and more. With good reason, as these are essential components to their change programmes. However, they often do not come to us asking for a culture-change programme, or a programme that can grow their marketing confidence – which they should. The culture and confidence of a business are perhaps the most vital ingredients to marketing transformation and their importance is often overlooked.
I recently sat in a workshop where a team had discussed new structures and processes to implement in the business. However, the team was not a team and the meeting was more like a WWE all-in wrestling match, but without the rules! No process, structure, or tech solution that we could suggest would survive in that form of ‘culture’.
In a very different meeting, an enlightened marketing director gave us a specific brief to bringing their marketing department together around their refreshed core brand purpose and ‘what great looks like’ and asked us to help identify their behaviors and values as a group to really bind the team whilst the processes and structures are put into place.
Another client has made the largest transformation we will, quite possibly, ever see. Now, the decisions have been made regarding structure, ways of working, product strategy, agencies etc. the focus has, rightly, shifted to delivering the internal cultural experience to operationalise the changes to make them stick and shift the culture to align to the core values of the business and more specifically what marketing culture is to be defined and built.
It is clear to see in these three situations where there is culture and confidence baked in. We know which project will work and which project will not.
You can put a new structure into place, but if the culture is not one a of collaboration, things will not work. You can put in a new process, but if the team do not have belief in it, it will quickly wither and die. If the marketing team does not feel confident in taking a bold decision, simply put, they never will and your transformation will fail.
In a study done by PWC, over 2,200 global executives, managers, and employees were surveyed in regards to culture’s role in an organisational change, 54% said change initiatives at their companies were actually sustained. When asked why there was resistance in upholding these changes, 44% of respondents said it was because they didn’t understand what changes they were being asked to make and 38% said it was because they didn’t agree with it. So how do you gain alignment to satisfy the 38% and communicate to the 44% what and how they can be part of the cultural shift?
With an unbalanced internal structure where ideas and beliefs aren’t aligned, the possibilities of executing a successful change program are rare. There are several ways to improve culture and utilise it to lead transformation including:
- Create something larger that employees can connect with and believe in working towards.
- The use of storytelling can strengthen a culture by having these sources of pride and reinforcement of positive culture.
- Know and understand your culture’s strengths and weaknesses and use this knowledge to drive change programs to success. Identify what culturally will shift the needle fastest.
- Start with a small number of cultural change goals that employees can follow and implement without feeling overwhelmed, bake it into your existing systems e.g. Performance reviews, bonus structures.
- Think about gamification, how can you make the engagement fun and interesting?
- Examples of this are customer benefits, or the satisfaction of beating a benchmark.
If you are considering a change within your marketing ecosystem, look at how you can build confidence and culture in the team to work together and enhance a better marketing solution. And if you would like to learn more about how these components can help build a better marketing solution, get in touch with us here.