Improve Your Workplace Culture: Visualize It
A few weeks ago, I blogged about what it really takes to shift individual and collective mindsets in organizations—the capability to intentionally create new neural networks or pathways—to make real, desired change. Now, I share with you a great technique that uses mindset for culture change as a creative force to unleash something new or different, regardless of the current situation. The technique is called visualization.
We all visualize, whether we realize it or not. Most often, we visualize experiences that have already happened, using our senses, feelings, and emotions to help us understand them better. Visualization can be even more valuable when we use it to create a picture in our mind of something that has not happened—exactly as we want it to be—with the intent that it will actually happen. This future-focused visualization is particularly valuable for organizational leaders who want to think in new ways about their organization to meet its evolving mission and include an often-missing piece—how to change and align their organization’s culture.
If you already practice visualization, or if it’s new to you, these five tips will help you close in on your next breakthrough for the desired culture at your organization:
1. Put in the time to think, specifically, about what you want the organizational culture to be—what features it will have and what it can achieve. Take time out several times a day for several minutes over several days. Your ideas will get clearer and stronger as you go. (Tip: generate new ideas, and don’t get hung up on the same thought for too long.)
2. Write out as many details as possible about your desired culture to help you clarify your thinking—while full sentences are ideal, fragments, phrases, and themes can be just as helpful. Writing helps to shape your thinking and engage your subconscious mind, where intuition, new ideas, and inspirations come from.
3. Questions are a good way to collect the details. Some good questions to ask yourself:
- What cultural attributes will get you where you want to be?
- What contextual factors will influence what you want to have?
- When will you know that you have reached your desired culture?
- What critical information is missing for you to complete the picture?
- How do you visualize yourself in the new culture? What personal growth will be needed to be the best leader in the desired culture?
- What emotions will the culture change trigger? How will you bring the collective organization along?
4. If writing out the details is not enough, create an image or graphic that brings your vision to life. It can be photograph, a diagram, or a hand-drawn picture—whatever creates the best and most vivid mental picture. At some point, it may be important to have culture assessment data to back up your desired change, and a creative visual will be crucial to simplifying your ideas, your process, and your data.
5. The limits of visualization are entirely up to you. It is your own thoughts, beliefs, and knowledge that limit you. The more open-minded you are, the bigger you can think, the greater the possibilities, opportunities, and outcomes.
When a shift is desired in an organization’s culture, visualization is a great way to help individuals and the collective organization understand the details of behavior change that are needed, and the many steps it will take to get there.
Meaningful change begins with a vision. The more important the change, the more effort it might take to see it.