Taking on the Culture Challenge

James Murphy (Director, Chalcroft Digital, ex RICS) kicked off the event with 'Taking on the Culture Challenge'. As well as reiterating his key points from October’s event, he brought some key new insights. His presentation clearly resonated with those in the room with many nods of agreement.

James was quick to provide direction that “One rule about culture change is that you never talk about culture change”. He explained how that declaration can in, itself be, an obstacle to change, that positioning it as an initiative and ‘launching’ it as a project on its own, can lead to failure. James made it clear that culture change has to be a strategic decision and committed to ‘for the long game’. Culture change requires the conscious weaving in of new language, realigning marketing and communications both internally and externally. Commonly, processes and procedures will require some level of reengineering to result in the desired cultural transformation.

James stressed the value of extending and broadening ‘the gene pool’ for organisations committed to a cultural shift. A new hire, from a newer generation or with a wider base of industry experience can provoke fresh ideas, inject enthusiasm and encourage creativity.

A major focus of James’ seminar was on defining your organisations purpose. This is crucial in an organisation’s evolution and is fundamental in growing and retaining both your membership and internal teams. He encouraged us to ‘try joining as a member, or applying for an advertised position, because by approaching your organisation from an external perspective, you are   better likely to understand how you are perceived.  It’s a good way to check if your organisations purpose is still relevant and meaningful and will help show how well you communicate your culture.

James challenged those of us in the room to question, ‘are we an organisation with a vision solely focussed on our members, or have we extended that vision to be about the greater societal good?’ ‘What should our organisation look like today?’ ‘Does that identity and purpose still echo the needs and wants of our members?’