I have found it helpful to think of organizational cultural change with a metaphor.
Think of your organization as a caterpillar wrapping itself into a cocoon and entering the chrysalis stage in the butterfly life cycle. The chrysalis stage serves three main functions you can emulate:
1) The first function is protection to safeguard the process: The cocoon is there to protect vulnerability from the outside and to hold the temporary chaos that transition brings.
On the outside, a board, shareholders, or other partners might threaten the change or help it. Similarly, you will find resistance or assistance from people inside the organization who might be instrumental for a successful transition.
To protect the transition it is important to establish a well thought out communication campaign and ongoing process. Both, for communicating your vision and the final destination you have in mind, and for listening and taking into account concerns, of which there will be many.
2) The second function is to break down and re create.
Once the cocoon is in place, the caterpillar’s cells break down into a liquid. The cells know how to reorganize themselves because their instructions are in their DNA.
Similarly, your organization has to reorganize under a vision that follows a new set of values, a new set of beliefs, and a new set of behaviors. A process is needed to acknowledge the current state of the organization and the new place the organization needs to be in.
3) Finally, the last function is to create new structures. This is the new structure being born, the butterfly forming inside the cocoon if you will.
A simple way to think of structures is as formal and informal rituals people follow, and where they follow them.
Structures are the means by which the new behaviors and beliefs are reinforced on an ongoing basis. Without changing structures, everything will remain the same and remain only in good intentions.
Organizational changes can be overwhelming and are often very difficult to do so without outside support of a consultant.