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Crisis to Opportunity: The Best Time to Reboot a Culture

It ends with a mass exodus. It begins with key talent frustrated with lack of support being lured to greener pastures. The mounting turnover consumes too much of leadership’s time and attention. The team soon spirals to survival mode where tasks related to mission and vision become low priorities. All effort is focused on urgent recruitment, just-in-time training, and plugging holes. Although painful, it’s perfect timing to reboot the culture.

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Ready, Set, Go!

How long does it take to transform the spirit of a workplace? Depending on the depth and duration of the struggle, employee morale can be turned around quickly. Healthy, thriving teams are always evolving their environments. Struggling teams must execute a deliberate decision to sponsor change.

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Buffering the Team from Dysfunction

It’s often necessary for small, internal teams to insulate themselves from the toxic elements of the larger organization. Perhaps the broader workplace sanctions disrespect while the members of a single department value civility and trust. Maybe the sins of the company aren’t sufficiently unacceptable to warrant leaving the job especially when strong friendships have been built on the smaller team. How might a workgroup in this situation move forward?

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Six Steps to Change a Culture

Changing the culture of a workplace takes a long time. Basic science tells us that living things seek sameness. Even a loosened violin string will tighten itself back up until its new norm has been stabilized. The longer the history of broken morale, the harder it is to set and sustain a new mood. Unless the desired future is enforced consistently, old ways slip back into place. By tolerating unhealthy words and actions, you communicate permission for them to define the values of the group.

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Current State and Desired State

Every relationship, team, and organization can become more effective. Few, however, are ready to take on the burden of evolving. Living, breathing ecosystems are always in a temporary stage of development. Teams, therefore, are constantly faced with a choice about attending to or ignoring the symptoms indicating the need to adapt. Most opt for the comfort and consequences of staying the same. Consider these six motives for embracing the discomfort of growth and moving your team forward:

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