Assess the Gap: What Is Getting in the Way of Culture Change?

Over the past four posts, we have been discussing the blueprint to a high-performing company culture.

As with any journey on the road to culture change, we usually come to a place where there is no bridge to cross. The waters that stall change and improvement are ahead, and we need to get past this part with our teams to begin building a high-performance culture.

So how do we build this bridge?

We must assess the gap from our side to the other side, which leads us to step 3 in the process  of culture change.

The most important thing to remember is we have to build the bridge over the gap together. Leaders and teams will benefit greatly from each other’s viewpoints, beliefs, and experiences. At the end of the road is a high-performing and cohesive team whose members want to work together.

Let’s see the next step to get there:


Step 3 Assess the Gap

As with Step 2, Identifying the Beliefs, Behaviors and Experiences, Step 3 on the road to change also entails more reflection time.

Leaders and teams must ask themselves the following questions:

  • Where are we now?
  • Where do we want to be?
  • What needs to change to get to where we want to be?
  • And what will support this change?
  • What might get in the way of change and improvement?
  • Where are we most at risk?
  • What is our plan of action?


Just as it is important for leaders to take time to answer these questions, they must also include all team members to make sure everyone is aligned. The easiest way to get your teams on board with change is to include them in the process. Everyone feels valued when they have a say in the future of their role and the new direction it will follow. 


Six Factors That Can Support or Inhibit Culture Change

As an example, if you have noticed that rework leading to inefficiency with time and resources, as well as customer dissatisfaction, is a main pain point in your company, you can address it with your teams.

You could therefore do the following exercise with your team:

  1. What needs to change? For example, you may want to include a goal, such as minimizing the amount of rework.
  2. What would support minimizing rework?
  3. And what would get in the way of the change to improvement: Is this a process issue? Is it a training issue?

More specifically, each of the factors below plays a part to answer the three questions above. Each of these factors can actually support change or inhibit it. The trick is to know which is happening in the current situation and how to use leadership’s vision of change to make all of them support change.



Which behaviors inhibit change? What changes in behavior will support improvement?



What beliefs does your team currently have that are inhibiting change? How can we change these beliefs (which would then change behaviors)?



As we have said before, because of the beliefs your team currently holds, they react with certain behaviors, and both of these happen as result of the (possibly negative) experiences they have had from leaders and other team members.

So if negative experiences have been inhibiting change, what could happen instead to make improvements?

For example, in our last post we mentioned celebrating those team members who bring attention to issues and help solve them. It never hurts to repeat: If team members feel valued at work through good experiences, they will be motivated to be high-performing.



What current processes are inhibiting change? What could we stop or implement to support change? Where do the most mistakes happen or where in the process are the biggest risks for mistakes?


Staff skills/strengths

What skills and strengths are not being tapped into, which is inhibiting change?

Exploring this information, in open discussion with your team, could support improvement even faster.


Resources have/need

How do we capitalize on what we have? What additional resources do we need to be successful?


Begin to Change Culture with A Plan of Action

To start the process of change and the road to improvement, leaders and teams together must come up with a plan of action.

This might include reflecting on:

  • What do we need to stop doing, start doing, keep doing?
  • How do we reduce the negative forces?
  • How are we going to change the experiences to get the beliefs and behaviors we want and need?


If you’re ready to initiate culture change in your company, get in touch with me here so we can come up with the right plan of action for you and your team.

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