Influencing Corporate Culture

The Backstory

In January, I had the pleasure of leading Influencing Company Culture, a virtual field trip sponsored by the global community, Creative Mornings. There were over 450 changemakers from around the globe registered and the Zoom room was electric!

Many workshops include check-the-box “solutions” so attendees don’t walk away empty-handed however, mine do not. If I provided a roadmap for HOW to “fix” company culture, I would be doing a huge disservice. Instead, my workshops infuse inspiration and pose questions that help point you in the direction of the immediate next step.

With this work of influencing change, it’s easy to get mired in the weeds of it all. We can easily get sucked into the minutia and get stuck in the complexity, frustration or variety of other feelings that happen when we feel like things aren’t moving as fast as we want. When that happens (frankly in any aspect of our life) the best thing we can do is to take a step back to look at the bigger picture with fresh eyes. And so, this is what I focused on – putting our strategic hats on so we can get out of the weeds for a bit.   

A Strategic Framework For Changing Company Culture

  • Understand what CHANGE matters most to you
    • Starting with your own passion is not selfish, it is critical to ensure that you are fully in alignment with the energy you are giving to. Sometimes we don’t realize we are doing what we think we “should” do versus what we truly care most about.   
  • Put this passion in the business context
    • We must make our cause relevant to the business in the most impactful way. Dig deep to understand what the business cares about and tell the story of why this change matters and will make an impact.
  • All change starts with inner transformation
    • We must look at ourselves and understand what we are bringing to the table. What traumas? What past hurts? What behaviors that are not serving us OR the greater good. Determine WHO you want to be in this process and how you want to define SUCCESS so that you can play the long game.
  • Be BOLD.
    • Corporate Culture Revolution work is heart work; it does not come from a script. The work that is needed comes from being BOLD, and that can look different for everyone.
      • B – Boldly name what’s present
      • O – Offer solutions (i.e., experiments)
      • L – Leave space for emotions
      • D – Do hold people accountable

That’s a little taste of the workshop, but I also want to share one of the most frequent questions I get. How do I know when to stop trying?

It’s such an important question, because it’s not sustainable to give your energy over and over again with not a thing to show for it. And I get that a lot of folks are burned out and frustrated at the pace of change (or lack thereof). Here are some questions to ask yourself to evaluate for yourself what might be in your best interest.

Evaluating If It’s Worth It To Keep Pushing

— What impact have you been able to make thus far? (are you giving yourself credit for the inch-by-inch wins?)

— Have you approached people and conversations with an open heart and tried a number of different ways into the conversation?

— Are you running from a problem, or boldly walking towards a new vision for yourself?

— Are you able to be in integrity at your workplace?

— Is your mental health and overall well-being at stake? Are you doing things to fill your cup, rejuvenate and take breaks when you need?

— Have you sought support either internally or externally in your journey to drive change?

The Long Game

The truth is that a revolution takes consistent action and a lot of trust that the effort is creating ripple effects and impact that you may not see right way. And at the same time, we must take care of ourselves and keep an eye on what we need to sustain ourselves and feel fulfilled.

If you want to explore getting powerful support for your ambitions, email me at:

Tools For Your Consideration

The Lightmaker’s Manifesto by Karen Walrond



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