I love the richness and durability of hardwood in everything from furniture and flooring to ornate carvings. There’s an old saying that “hardwood grows slowly.” To me, it translates as things of lasting value take time to grow. Your organizational culture is no exception. It takes time to grow, change, and mature.
As a consulting firm specializing in improving the patient experience, we are often called on to help change the culture responsible for the current patient experience. Although many hospital cultures have roots dating back a century or more, there’s often an expectation that the Baird Group will be able to fix things within a few weeks of our arrival. We’ve developed a lot of effective tools over the years, but pixie dust and magic wands are not standard issue.
Even though logic tells you that culture change will take time, there is often frustration among leaders who want results now… today. Culture change must be transformational in order to last. Like hardwood, a healthy culture must be patiently cultivated, nurtured, and even pruned to grow to its fullest potential.
Set your goals, map the course, and be prepared to measure progress in small increments along the way. Although the change can be slow, it’s also immensely rewarding.