The Power of Water Drops: Using Mid-Level Managers to Help Drive Organizational Culture Change

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When: November 16, 2023 11:00 am - 12:00 pm CT
Level: Intermediate
Track: D&I Strategy
Presenter: Kari Heistad, Culture Coach International | Diversity Dashboard

While organizational culture change needs support from the top of the organization, true culture change lies in the hands of managers. In addition to focusing on getting the work done daily, front line and mid-level managers are the ones who monitor and adjust behavior changes that impact how employees interact with each other every day. Culture is defined as the values and norms of a group of people. Those cultures are developed and sustained by the thousands of small interactions team members have with each other as they complete their work. If organizations are to create and sustain long term culture changes that build and retain an inclusive workplace culture, then it must start at the grassroots level. Too often front-line managers receive little to no training and support about the benefits of culture change for teams and are left figuring it out on their own.

The Water Drop system focuses on providing front line managers with tools and activities that they can easily use with their teams in 15-minute increments. Like water drops that wear away stone over time, these small micro-engagements help to break down old patterns and build new behaviors that support an inclusive workplace culture.

Learning Outcomes
  • Understand the unique position front-line managers have in creating and sustaining long term culture change and to support DEI work
  • Explore the five types of easy to implement culture change tools that can be provided to managers: huddles, tips, short animated videos, activities
  • Recognize the value of a program structure that is repeatable and scalable over time


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