Organizational culture is largely invisible

August 28, 2015 Torben Rick


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Organizational culture is largely invisible, until it’s not

Too many leaders assume they know what their organizational culture is. Often they think that it can be summed up in a slogan, like: “We have a culture of innovation” or “We’re an action based culture.” Others assume their values statement adequately represents their unique culture.

But in many cases the are ignoring or not paying attention to what’s below the organizations surface. They have a tendency to focus on “The way we say we get things done” and don’t focus on “The way we really get things done”. Ignoring what’s below the surface will ultimately undermine organizational change.

 

Organizational culture is largely invisible

The value of an organization will be measured by its capability to change

When crating a list of questions to asses the current culture, take into consideration aspects above AND below the surface: What specific cultural changes will visibly improve business results within 12 months?

  • Is the organizational culture aligned with the strategy?
  • Does the organizational culture encourage strategy execution?
  • Does the organizational culture create competitive advantage for companies strategy?
  • How effectively does the organizational culture currently drive internal and external performance metrics such as profit, sales/market growth, employee engagement, innovation etc.?
  • Does the corporate culture bring out the best performance in the companies employees?
  • What are the most common complaints employees make about the company culture?
  • Does culture fosters trust?
  • Does the culture that promotes quick responses to needed changes?
  • Does decision-making authority exists at all levels, not just top management?
  • What does the workplace “feel” like?
  • Who is talking to whom (and who isn’t?)
  • How do people interact?
  • What stories do people tell about the organization or its “heroes?”
  • How are customers, suppliers and other external stakeholders treated?
  • Are there “rites of passage”? If so, what do they celebrate?

Any questions missing?

 

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Torben Rick
Organizational culture is largely invisible

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