Questions, questions, questions.  That is all that seems to be on everyone’s mind.  Some as simple as how are we going to go back to work?  But most more fundamental, such as what is our purpose as an organisation?  What are our true values?  What kind of leadership do we provide? 

Even if we wanted to, there is no going back to how things were before this crisis.  There is going to be huge external pressure from customers, employees, supplier, partners, communities and stakeholders – all expecting us to do things in new and different ways.  The question is: how brave and courageous is our organisation, and will we start seeing the opportunity to make substantial changes that can set our business for the next 5 years or maybe more?

Unfortunately, Covid 19 has created a major discontinuity and a huge burning platform. This situation really needs to be leveraged to the hilt to drive fundamental and profound culture shifts. Courage and bravery are at an all time high right now and this energy needs to be leveraged to make leaps, not just incremental changes.  Whatever the new normal is for your organisation, it is a change process.  And change requires a shift in behaviours.  The way we do things will change.  That is what culture is.  It is what we do (how we behave) when nobody is watching.  It is the default setting.  It is what happens when we are not planning.

Changing processes and introducing new technology without changing behaviour – without changing the culture – is a recipe for chaos.  Culture change must be given the same amount of attention and focus that would be given to financial planning.

Over the past few months, we have been nudged, in so many ways, to do things differently.  There have been benefits and, of course, some downsides.  Some of the changes in our behaviour we may have not liked, while some were easier than others.  So how do we decide what are the behaviours that we need to get rid of completely?  What do we need to keep but modify?  What do we need to embrace?  And what do we need to hold on to?

We must take out the guessing and bring in the science.  By applying behavioural science and people analytics we can then literally design (or re-design) our organisational culture to make it fit for purpose.  With that scientific data we can then set the agenda for the future.  That is the power of CultureScope – the only tool born out of behavioural science that not only actually measures an organisation’s culture by measuring behaviour but can also predict what kind of results your organisation will produce based on the current behaviour of staff and the organization.

Trust, for example, is one of the highly sought-after values among almost all of the businesses and organisations we have worked with.  But trust – like any other value – does not come from doing one thing; it’s a number of combined behaviours that lead to trust.  The research and years of work done for CultureScope by iPsychTec concluded that the presence of three specific behaviours (Team focus, Active learning, Conformity) will predict the level of Trust in that organisation.   And of course, we all know that what can be measured, can be changed and improved.

We are living through exceptional times of change on so many levels.  On an organisational level, these changes are not being imposed from headquarters or management.  It’s very clear that most leaders still don’t have all the answers to this situation.  The notion that everyone has a role and can help to shape this is more appealing than ever before.  Every single one of us has received a fantastic invitation to be part of the solution.  What are you doing with this unique and once in a lifetime opportunity?

Rana Nejem

About Rana Nejem

Rana is a certified iPsychTec (CultureScope, TeamScope & TalentScope) associate consultant that brings expertise in interpreting the generated insights for the purpose of targeted interventions, helping clients in the Middle East region align their staff behaviour and attitude with the organisation’s values and objectives. Using CultureScope to scientifically and empirically measure behaviour, Rana has provided decision makers with detailed and focused solutions to a variety of issues that have in turn transformed the culture within these organisations enabling them to attract and retain their ideal talent and achieve their key business objectives. Rana’s experience comes from a career in broadcast journalism, government communications and public relations. Rana is the founding director of YARNU, the Art of Social Intelligence – YARNU specializes in Inter-Cultural Intelligence development for the Middle East. She is also a certified coach in inter-cultural intelligence.