If you have tried working on your company culture on your own, you would have realised that it’s no easy feat.
Not only must you figure out how to introduce new ways of working, you must also combat resistance from your C-suite and middle managers who may be too used to doing things the way they’ve always been done, and have difficulty thinking out of the box.
This is where a third-party consultant can help.
Now, you might be thinking: Why do I need someone who has no understanding of my company to tell me how to shape our culture?
The role of an external consultant is not to dictate or tell you what your culture should be, but rather to serve as a neutral facilitator and coach who can bring out your best.
An objective coach
In sports, a coach MUST be standing on the side lines to be of any benefit to his team. You can’t be a coach if you’re running up and down the field, trying to score goals, while also shouting instructions to the team.
Likewise, it can be a challenge for someone within the company to take on the facilitator’s role.
They would give more value when they participate as fully engaged players. When you let someone else facilitate, you and your team can focus on exploring and ideating.
A third party consultant can guide you to explore deeply and crystalise your inspiration.
Faster brainstorms and creation sessions
Many brainstorms end up going round and round, with the team rehashing their daily problems or getting distracted with micro issues. This can make it a long drawn out process that is a waste of valuable executive time.
Experienced professionals know how to maintain the focus and keep the team moving forward. They can structure the programme and introduce frameworks and mechanisms that guide thinking, so you get maximum impact in a shorter time.
An honest perspective
An outsider has no vested interest in your company. Any feedback he or she provides will be purely to help you improve your company culture.
They have no past history or baggage, freeing them up to see things from a completely fresh perspective.
In some teams, it can be difficult for people who work together to give each other honest feedback. But if the discussion is being facilitated by a neutral party, honesty can be drawn out and moderated.
Plus, if a consultant needs to call out someone who is being a hindrance to the team, he or she can, without worrying about straining relationships – any animosity leaves with the consultant once the job is done.
Depth of experience
Consultants carry with them their past experience and learnings that they have gained by being immersed in this specialty and from working with different industries.
They understand the common challenges companies face and can share emergent ideas and trends that they have observed.
So is it futile to try building culture on your own?
Not at all. There are many companies who have achieved it.
It just takes time and effort. The biggest obstacle of working on your culture is the team’s day jobs. If your team (including yourself) cannot delegate some of the everyday responsibilities and duties to subordinates, it will be incredibly challenging to find time to work on developing a new culture.
The companies that have succeeded usually have CEOs who are able to delegate a big part of their daily responsibilities to the COO, CMO, CFO or they have a dedicated Head of Transformation.
Ultimately, it boils down to how much time and effort you are willing to devote to building your culture. If you wish to approach it with urgency and maximum effectiveness, it would be advantageous to consult a third party.