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The Secret to Changing A Company’s Culture

What’s the difference between a B2C self-help book and a B2B business book about leadership or culture? Well, one way to think about it is the size of the challenge. In a B2C self-help book, your audience is an individual who wants help changing their behavior. In a B2B business book, your audience is a manager or leader who wants a team or organization to think and act differently. That’s a much bigger challenge. So, how do you equip them for success?

When a thought leader takes their content into an organization, they want it to produce a measurable outcome. And that means they need to focus on behavior change.

  • What will people do differently after learning this material?
  • How will their actions change?
  • What benefit will this bring to the business?

As a thought leader who wants to sell into organizations, you need to understand organizational culture and organizational transformation. Culture can be defined as “what most of the people do most of the time.” To change that, you need to produce actual behavior change.

Observable behaviors are measurable and repeatable.

Once people have learned your ideas, giving them behaviors to utilize provides opportunities to put that knowledge into action. Further, by adhering to specific behaviors, your learners gain experience that supports and proves your approach. The more they act in accordance with your content, the more they understand why it works.

Thought leadership isn’t about changing people’s thoughts – it’s about changing their behaviors.

By teaching the difference between acceptable behaviors and unacceptable ones, you reinforce a common language of conduct. Everyone is held to the same criterion, and everyone understands what is expected of them.

An individual within an organization can alter their behaviors, but one person’s activities won’t usually turn the battleship, even if they are the CEO. There are hundreds or even thousands of employees within a company. To truly affect culture, you need to impact everyone.

Company culture is about the way we show up at work each day, how we treat each other, how we interact with customers. Employees want to go home at night feeling they’ve done good work and contributed to the organization’s value. Adult learning, especially in the corporate world, requires buy-in. Ultimately, you change behaviors when people know there’s something in it that benefits each individual. You have to connect with individual employees, but also develop group behaviors that will shift the company as a whole.

Bill Sherman works with thought leaders to launch big ideas within well-known brands. He is the COO of Thought Leadership Leverage. Visit Bill on Twitter

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