Lead Change is a leadership media destination with a unique editorial focus on driving change within organizations, teams, and individuals. Lead Change, a division of Weaving Influence, publishes twice monthly with SmartBrief. Today’s post is by Janet L. Szumal and Robert A. Cooke.

Leadership is one of the most powerful forces shaping organizational culture, specifically in terms of the shared beliefs and norms that drive behavior and performance. However, it’s a two-way street: Culture shapes the thinking and behavioral styles of team members at all levels, including at the top.Your leaders may already recognize this but possibly don’t appreciate the extent to which the culture of the organization influences how they approach change — including cultural change. Ironically, the biggest obstacle to changing an organization’s culture is culture itself.

The changes that you and your leadership team initiate — and, possibly more importantly, the way you go about implementing them — will likely be shaped by the very norms that you are hoping to dispel.

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