Accelerate Culture

Culture refers to an organization’s shared beliefs and behaviors. It influences the way members of an organization make decisions and take action, and thus is a key determinant of organizational performance. Culture is seldom monolithic. Instead, organizations have sub-cultures and co-cultures. Even if the organization’s dominant culture is not focused on speed, a sub-group can establish their own culture of rapid innovation and acceleration. Culture is dynamic, not static. It changes in response to new people, new technologies, and new processes. A sub-culture can spread and replace a previously dominant culture. The fastest way to change a culture is to identify instances where the desired culture already exists and help that culture expand. Culture change is something leaders do with, not to, the other members of the organization.

Guiding Principles For Building A Culture of Acceleration

  • A culture of acceleration is easier to establish and maintain in a flat organization.
  • Delegating decision authorities to the lowest competent level and as close to the action as possible
  • A program champion from the operational environment can help emphasize the need for a culture of acceleration.
  • Expectations, goals, and incentives help shape a culture, so focus yours on acceleration.
  • Tools and practices that encourage a culture of acceleration include tailoring and trimming.
  • Psychological safety and trust between teammates creates team willingness to take risks associated with acceleration.

Bridging the Policy Gap

Better feedback and a solid effort to understand the gaps between what policies say and what actually must happen to get the job done are necessary to bridge the gap between policy makers and those who carry their policies out. Let’s look at how other professions handle frustrations with policy.

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Run With Scissors

Acceleration exposes a program to some risks and mitigates others. Be mindful of the positive and negative impacts of acceleration.

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Create a Culture of Experimentation

Acceleration often creates pressure to make decisions before the necessary information is available. To address this dilemma, acceleration leaders should foster a culture of experimentation and rapid learning.

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Communicate Why

Clear, consistent communication from leadership, across multiple channels, is essential to guide individuals to operate confidently at increased speed.

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Recognize Your People

Accelerated project teams often encounter resistance, ranging from passive skepticism to open opposition. Giving public awards and recognition for acceleration helps overcome the resistance.

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Delegate Decision Authorities

Delegating decision authority helps make things go faster. Empowering decision authorities at lower-tiers of the organization is thus a key enabler of acceleration.

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Train Your People

Acceleration often requires the team to acquire new skills. Fortunately, there are many training sources available.

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Develop a Culture Change Plan

Leaders have the opportunity – and the responsibility – to influence their team’s culture. One simple way to do this is to develop a specific strategy for changing team norms and behaviors.

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