Key System Shift Indicators

Tangibly Measuring Actual Culture Change

While every system looks different, below are some indicators that you are onto some smarter, more strategic, and eventually more joyful operating norms.

Indicators that Culture Shifting is Underway
  • Teaming/collaborating/engaging/interacting feel refreshing, confusing, frustrating, vulnerable, and yet ... better.
  • Opening up teams to cross-function and work horizontally illustrates how the inconnectivity of the work impacts — and needs — the other.
  • As team’s surface assumptions and clarify information collaboratively and within a modern system design, investment in change increases.
  • Skepticism (not cynicism) paired with curiosity early on is perfectly healthy.
  • Ability to act on what makes sense to act on from role around identified priorities, tasks, and needed execution feels deeply inviting while also risky (e.g. self-directing).
  • Learning new practices and instruments that provide alternative structures for coming together to get work done begins to be welcomed, after the initial discomfort of changing together and out loud.
  • Priority-focused, newly formed strategic teams take a few weeks to gel as they naturally get through initial pleasantries. Mucking their way through while being “held” in new structures helps the sitting with and leaning in to initial discomfort, in advance of the rooting and breakthroughs.
  • Resistance to tools spans low to high (age- and history- dependent); imagined or real “fears” about IT risk and working collaboratively being security issues can be high.
  • With a widely distributed age demographic across an organisation large or small, younger colleagues are often seen leading the way with participation, adoption, and spreading the word on change, with less overthinking. 
  • Most people (vertically and horizontally) seem more or less ok with transparency, and ultimately pleased to gain access to far more logical ways of sharing, coordinating, communicating, and learning.
  • Grappling with transparency as “security concerns” is a passageway out of silo and pure play hierarchy mental models.
  • Feeling vulnerable about not having everything buttoned up before getting into a room to do work together is a universal learning arc.
  • Replacing performance with partnership and pushing the envelope together, with new instruments, feels good.
  • Conceptualizing well designed, purpose-based, and strategic meetings as conversations and the spaces to co-create rather than perform, be judged or act the wallflower is a welcome yet sometimes nerve-wracking change.
  • Distilling data and learnings to 3-5 key points and a clear ask is aerobic after years of exhaustive presentations.
  • Engaging in dialog, versus simply rescuing, delegating and directing, as a teammate or leader, is evident good pain and needed new muscle development. 
  • People feeling appreciated for showing up to participate and play through direct action, not empty words, begins to shift to the positive, the measurable.
  • Trust is an evident learning curve, and people are willing to lean in because they visibly see and tangibly experience positive indications of better.
  • Coaching, support, and air cover enables more safe-to-try vibes, across, up, and down
  • New narratives emerge on how meaningful and real collective shifting will only happen through individual committed action.
  • New thinking around healthy culture and teaming arises from shared experience in the being and doing of the work and the delivery of purposeful, measurable outcomes on the work.
  • Organisational wisdom begins to root around the regenerative, human-centered, and systemic benefits of modern system designing, for those who play and are impacted.
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