How to Rate Organizational Culture and Change it!

One could say that Culture eats strategy for breakfast. And you could concur on modifying your strategy or your customer service, but if this change does not align with the current organizational culture, you will not be doing well…

Organizational culture identifies what you value, the way you comprehend things, your ideas and beliefs about work and so on and hence: your behavior. Because culture influences behavior so strongly, it’s what makes the difference when it comes to results! The beginning of realizing change and enhancing performance commences in the minds of managers and employees. It’s all about the culture they have in common. The trick is to let it work for you instead of hinder change.

How would that be achievable? If you have some reference you will know where you stand. Using the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI), you have a very well-defined beginning for pretty much any change process. This instrument is validated and developed by professors Cameron & Quinn and is currently applied by over 10,000 organizations across the globe.

The OCAI recognizes four culture types with competing values founded on the Competing Values Framework. These are:

* Market Culture, based on Competing
* Hierarchy Culture, based on Controlling
* Clan Culture, based on Cooperating
* Adhocracy Culture, based on Creating

Though this depiction may be plain, it works extremely well. Participants assess 6 vital characteristics of their organization’s culture when ending the online survey. The result is a outline of the current culture, that is a combination of the four archetypes above.

Most of the time one of the culture types is prevalent. For example, some people might have a dominant Adhocracy Culture, centering on original products and services, being innovative and taking risks.

After the change has taken place, people assess their preferred culture for the future. It is really interesting and helpful to compare these 2 profiles. In case of a big difference between the current and preferred situation, people might be ready for significant change or are not feeling satisfied about their current working climate.

For example, some colleagues have a nice working climate, but they know they should focus more on results. So they agree to enhance characteristics of Market Culture and start using pieces of competition to get things done.

The principal step to profitable, sustainable change is assessing organizational culture. It shows you where your team or organization is right now and where people want to go. It’s very instructive to distinguish numerous subgroups and discover where for instance executives and employees differ. That gives methods on what to do next: what exactly do employees expect, how could executives make the change program better, how could you overcome resistance, and so on and so forth.

To go from the straight forward but well-defined four-typology to tailor made solutions for your organization you can work out your results in a workshop. Working with all members, you will be able to work out differences and really get people to not only say YES to the change program, but act like YES and truly apply the new behavior. And there change really takes place!

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