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More Hesselbein on Leadership by Frances Hesselbein

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The Key to Cultural Transformation

In times of great change, organizational culture gets special attention. Leaders issue calls for cultural change, stating: “We need a more entrepreneurial culture,” or, “We must create a culture of accountability.” If we could alter the underlying beliefs of our organizations, the thinking goes, our practices would surely follow.

But changing the culture of an organization requires a transformation of the organization itself—its purpose, its focus on customers and results. Culture does not change because we desire to change it. Culture changes when the organization is transformed; the culture reflects the realities of people working together every day.

Peel away the shell of an organization and there lives a ...

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