Services · Culture Change

Green Culture Lab applies an approach to culture change derived from corporate anthropology. We build towards a company with sustainability in its DNA in four subsequent phases.

1. Formulating the challenge

Naturally we start with your challenge as departure point for your journey of your culture change. It matters in what business you operate, the number of people you employ, the level of value chain integration you require. Internally it matters what type of leadership and organization model your company adopted, and what level of  ambition you strive to reach. The picture we can draw by answering these questions (and much more), help us design your theory of change and the according narrative of change. 

2. Doing Research

To better understand the internal logic and cultural assumptions within any oranganization, it helps to do some level of fieldwork and participant observation. As a corporate anthropologist and fly on the wall it's revealing to discover the unwritten rules and the unspoken beliefs. The challenge is not to judge people and their ways of behaving but to understand why people do as they do. 

During the analysis of individual observations and cultural snippets of information, it's always possible to discern a pattern. A group always behaves according to a certain logic - that might seem illogical from an outside perspective - and the challenge is to find the patterns and microstories that explain collective behaviour and unwritten cultural rules.

3. Making Sense

Culture doesn't change with writing new procedures, more protocols and different core values or mission statements. Culture changes in interaction and decisionmaking.

The mirror, culture assessment or diagnosis serves as an incentive for change and a process of renewed sensemaking. Looking in the mirror of culture together is an important step in any change process since it is a moment of collective sensemaking and the start of a dialogue towards the future.

Since the old order is (slowly) disappearing and the new is not yet in place, there's lots of uncertainty and emotion. It's important to create and hold space for dialogue, for insecurity and not-knowing. Transformational dialogues are required to channel uncertainty and emotions, to foster new ideas and to make everybody feel heard and seen.

4. Creating Change

There's no blueprint of a successfull culture change. This points towards a strategy of viral vhange. People are much more susceptible to subtle peer-to-peer influence than top-down enforced change. The formation of this team is of utmost importance. Your Green Rebel team needs to connect to the different realities within your organization and to design local interventions.

In the process of culture change, the rules of the game are rewritten, the cultural order is redesigned and power hierarchies shift. This phase of liminality we find very incomfortable, since it hosts many uncertainties and touches our own insecurities. An important role the Green Rebels fulfill, is to stay tuned to the tensions within the organization and to facilitate sincere personal conversations and renewed collective sensemaking. 

"The transition towards sustainability is about people, their practices and motivations, about their webs of meaning and perspectives on the world. Sustainability is about building culture".


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