April 2009 —

Center for Creative Leadership faculty members offer new blueprint for lasting business success in Transforming Your Leadership Culture.

Greensboro, N.C. – In spite of their allure and promise, change management initiatives typically fail to make an impact on organizations. In fact, after decades of change management, studies still suggest that most of these efforts will fail — leaving leaders frustrated and their companies trapped in the status quo. In today’s volatile economic climate, the bottom-line impact can be devastating.

In their new book Transforming Your Leadership Culture, just released by leading business publisher Jossey-Bass, Center for Creative Leadership faculty members John B. McGuire and Gary B. Rhodes offer a provocative solution: Don’t get stuck on changing an organization’s systems. Focus instead on your people and your culture.

McGuire and Rhodes explore the powerful role that leadership culture — the beliefs and behaviors related to leadership that organizations display daily — plays in organizational engagement and growth in complex times.

“When leaders take on and follow through on cultural transformation alongside their strategic and operational changes, they consistently succeed in reaching performance goals,” says McGuire, a senior faculty member at CCL. “They often just need help knowing how to change the culture.”

Transforming Your Leadership Culture offers the road map leaders need. Throughout the book, the authors share examples and stories based on their real-world experiences with businesses, executives and employees at all levels. They include case studies on change efforts that worked and those that failed — and highlight the reasons for those outcomes.

“With a set of supportive frameworks and tools, this book will help leaders expand their concept of change, tap into new approaches and create a plan for strengthening their own organization’s leadership culture,” says Rhodes, CCL Senior Fellow Emeritus.

The book explores three new and core concepts for enacting change leadership:

  1. Change work starts at the top: Executives can’t delegate transformation to others. Without leading first by engagement and example, success is very unlikely. Culture change is first a personal process; by investing themselves in it, executives literally become instruments of change.
  2. Change comes when beliefs change: Altering organizational structures and systems is not enough. Deeply held beliefs also need to change; they drive decisions and behavior and are the source of new and better leadership practices. Successful change starts with the beliefs of the senior leadership culture and spreads into the middle of the organization. From there, momentum builds as successive levels of employees buy into change.
  3. Effective change creates bigger minds: Turbulence, complexity and ambiguity characterize the new world order. Thriving in it requires bigger minds – ones that are open to more than one right answer, value collaboration and create headroom for colleagues to experiment and grow.

“Transforming an organization’s culture to face new challenges is very possible and increasingly vital in today’s economy,” McGuire says. “Individuals, teams and entire organizations can change their belief systems, current mindsets and learn more collaborative behaviors. Bigger minds can be created to solve bigger problems.”

About the Center for Creative Leadership

The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®) is a top-ranked, global provider of leadership development. By leveraging the power of leadership to drive results that matter most to clients, CCL transforms individual leaders, teams, organizations and society. Our array of cutting-edge solutions is steeped in extensive research and experience gained from working with hundreds of thousands of leaders at all levels. Ranked among the world's Top 10 providers of executive education by Financial Times, CCL has offices in Greensboro, NC; Colorado Springs, CO; San Diego, CA; Brussels, Belgium; Moscow, Russia; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Johannesburg, South Africa; Singapore; New Delhi-NCR, India; and Shanghai, China.

Stephen Martin
Center for Creative Leadership
+1 336 286 4038
martins@ccl.org

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