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Culture Change Is Slowwwww

An Army laboratory experienced a series of accidents resulting in employee injury and equipment malfunction. After investigating, leaders realized that employees were sacrificing safety to be more productive. In this environment, employees cut corners and ignored safety rules of the facility. The behavior was leading to a more dangerous workplace and needed to be reversed. A culture change was in order.

The lab hired us to help create a new safety culture in the organization. It was fascinating, excruciating, frustrating, inspiring, slowwwww, and ultimately successful work. In fact, the laboratory is now recognized Army-wide for its safety culture and its processes replicated by laboratories around the world.

Why did this change management initiative succeed? We believe it was because it was a top-down change initiative relentlessly pursued over a long period of time with accountability measures built into the model. Organizational change initiatives can change the culture of a group, but it is a slow and deliberate process.

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