Consultants do not change organizational culture. Consultants and management can change the way that things are done, and as a result culture is perceived as having changed. But there are much faster and different ways that culture changes. Here are a few.
- Get a major customer in Japan. This will drive a positive change in customer focus, product quality, and the creation of a long term account strategy.
- Get heavily fined. If the court slaps a crippling fine on an organization for any one of many infringements, culture changes much more quickly. This works incredibly well especially if the management team is arrogant and self-serving.
- Be acquired. If an organization is acquired, its culture is usually decimated with a few months to a few years. Cultures die upon acquisition.
- Massive failures drive cultural change. This includes loss of major clients, severe prolonged fall in stock price or military defeat.
- Departure or death of a founder. Departing dominant founders who fail to produce the next generation of leadership (especially but not only in family businesses) will trigger a rapid change of culture, not necessarily for the better.
Sadly, companies hire consultants to change culture and it always, always fails, unless external factors are leveraged to harness the change.