They were right, and let me explain why. A large-scale change is fragile. And a company’s culture has the organizational gravity of a black hole. It will pull your change back to the status quo as soon as the consultants leave and employees are convinced that management has moved onto its next pet project. Large-scale change is only permanent when rooted in a cultural transformation. That is the lesson from the NYT example, where leadership reflected an operational change with a cultural one. It sent a clear signal that the new operating model was permanently going to be “the way we do things around here.”
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