Picture from simplypsychology.org
I am coming to believe that a strong indicator of success in any cultural change initiative is psychological safety.
Psychological safety exists when individuals in groups feel completely
comfortable being themselves. Psychologically-safe groups are
characterized by deep trust and mutual respect. Risk-taking is
encouraged and fear of failure, judgment, and alienation is minimal or
– Outside, High Performance Cultures, Bradley Stulberg, April 1, 2016
Though the above article was written in the context of triathlon training – it applies to any organization.
Without psychological safety – any attempt to create a high-performing culture may be moot.
Furthermore, that safety has to be felt top-down.
Otherwise, any change initiative where you are trying to get people to communicate with each other, collaborate more effectively, share creative ideas, and innovate as individuals and as teams will be moot.
Because the people who have the power of reward / punishment will be unable to support the changes.
Because they are human and need to get their survival needs met first.