When culture change fails, look in the mirror

Digital transformation has always been considered risky. It is deemed to be tricky for many reasons, among which one that has been less studied — the pushbackfrom employees who resist the desired changes to the corporate culture. Yet, the fundamental cause for pushback often lies elsewhere in the organization — in the C-suite.

An Accenture research disclaims the common belief that change should be coming from CEOs and top managers, asserting that the most successful change initiatives occur when all employees are actively involved, especially the team leaders and middle managers.

Digital transformations typically require a more flexible, purpose-driven and flat-hierarchy work environment, and this is where top management in most of the cases fail. The top down approach to change is complex and difficult, managers needing support and help to understand their leadership challenges and adopt new rules for culture changes. In these cases peer coaching, peer-to-peer learning, as well as reverse mentoring can be very effective in helping leaders to adopt new behaviors.