HR Should Only Give 10% to Changing Culture…

Paul Hebert Change, Culture, Employee Communications, Engagement and Satisfaction, Influence, Organizational Development, Paul Hebert, Social Media, Social Network Analysis

Why didn’t someone tell you that you only need to give it 10% to be successful?

I am.  Sorta.

The Company Culture

It’s not too unlikely that if you’re an HR pro you’ve been in meetings where the company culture is being discussed – or complained about more likely.  The fact is, whenever someone brings up corporate culture, all heads turn slowly in your direction until you feel the the intense heat of 15 eyeballs on you.

Culture is HR’s department right?

Finance is about numbers.  Sales is about, well, numbers and sales.  Marketing is about, um, numbers (how many likes did we get on Facebook last week?)

HR is about, well, other than picnics, it’s about culture.  While I’ve made the argument here before that culture is really a management issue across the board (assisted by HR) you know that when the CEO says fix the culture the subtext is “Why isn’t HR doing their job?”

Stop Working So Hard

Here’s the truth… you’re working too hard to change culture.  

Recently, Scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute found that when just 10 percent of the population holds an unshakable belief, their belief will always be adopted by the majority of the society. 

Read that again – 10% = ALWAYS adopted by the majority of the society.

There are naysayers (read some of the comments on the post from the Freakonomics blog about this.)

The Net Net

Find a smaller contingent of employees who hold the beliefs and values that best represent your company.  Invest in them and their ability to have conversations about their point of view with others in the organization.  Let them have blogs and other communication tools that let them reach out to the rest of the organization.

Let that 10% do your job for you.

But the bottom line for HR pros – you’re probably better off focusing your efforts on a few committed folks in your organization than trying to run a big campaign to change a “majority” of employee opinion.