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Culture Transformation

"Culture transformation is one of the most potent points of leverage and opportunity for most organisations. It is also one of the most difficult pieces to address as it asks the organisation to shift its identity; to move from where the culture is now and to let go of the familiar, including the patterns, habits and stories that are no longer relevant and with awareness embed new ones. This requires the leaders to be the role models and consciously create the desired culture usually a prerequisite to realise the vision."

Sarah Cornally

Working with senior leaders, they relatively quickly grasp what is required intellectually to shift culture in an organisation. However, this is just an important first step, true cultural transformation is a larger process that requires a multi-level, multi-dimensional shift to embed a new culture into the organisation.

While some elements of culture are conscious, the vast majority of culture is unconscious or semi-conscious; we are unaware of the subtle nuances, inferences and interactions that create culture moment by moment. To be able to shift something that sits largely outside the awareness of the people within the organisation requires a rigorous approach and commitment from the senior people in the organisation. Sarah Cornally is a skilled facilitator in raising awareness of how ingrained old patterns are, and how to embrace new ways of operating that support the culture necessary to achieve the organisation's vision.

Boards often have little awareness of how significant their impact is in terms of culture. They can be unaware of how they influence culture through their interaction with the CEO and senior leaders. With that awareness the board can provide leverage to enable the culture.

Read Sarah’s article ‘How can leaders change an organisation from within?’ for more insights on how leaders can shape their businesses for success.

Moving the orientation from ‘it’s all about me’ to ‘it’s all about we’ – in this video Sarah shares her perspective on creating environments that foster innovation, openness, generosity of spirit and creativity.


One of the biggest challenges in organisations is getting alignment through the whole system. Complex systems and complex initiatives create the need for people to bring rich thinking and perspectives to realise results. This puts the spotlight on distributed leadership and collaboration. Sarah recognises these skills do not always come naturally and require a strong sense of self and sophistication.

This is where Sarah's deep inquiry into issues, needs and desired outcomes becomes a valuable asset in ensuring that the organisational objectives are met. Creating alignment between the individual and the collective to serve the organisation's purpose is where the true potency of strategic alignment lies.


Courageous Conversations is a style of engagement that requires deep honesty and the willingness of each participant to explore their motivations and take full responsibility for their contribution in every interaction. Business outcomes are enhanced in organisations where leaders are prepared to have and initiate courageous conversations.

Courageous Conversations are not without risk. Each party is given the choice to participate with authenticity, openness and vulnerability. It removes the transactional nature of negotiations and paves the way for a truly creative and collaborative approach to problem solving.

The outcome of Courageous Conversations can be profound as both parties discover truths about themselves and about each other. A new, shared perspective is discovered in the process, allowing new insights and new resolutions to be possible.

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