Organizational Culture Change - 6 Advantages to Enhance Performance

Because culture is found to make the difference. It is why up to 70% of organizational culture change programs fail. Make your change endeavors more effective, aiming for 20% endeavors generating 80% results, and take your current organizational culture into account. Overcome resistance and mobilize your organization's potential. It is a powerful starting point for successful change. The Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI) is developed by professors Kim Cameron and Robert Quinn and is a validated research method. So four quadrants were constructed, corresponding with four organizational culture types that differ strongly on these two dimensions:

    * Internal focus and integration VS External focus and differentiation
The upper quadrants desire flexibility, while at the bottom organizations value stability and control.

In short, the four archetypes of culture are:

1. Clan Culture: A friendly, people-oriented working environment where colleagues have a lot in common, similar to a family. There is great involvement. 2. Adhocracy Culture: A dynamic and creative working environment. 3. Market Culture: A results-based organization that emphasizes finishing work and getting things done. People are competitive and focused on goals. Market penetration and stock are the definitions of success.

4. Hierarchy Culture: A formalized and structured work environment. Keeping the organization functioning smoothly is most crucial. Reliable delivery, smooth planning and low costs define success.

Six key features

To find your organization's core values and thus the dominant culture type, you need to complete a short survey. Just assess the following six features of organizational culture:

    * organizational leadership
    * management of employees
    * organization glue
    * criteria of success

The organizational culture assessment shows four statements for each of the above key features of culture. Reality is ambivalent and so is organizational culture. The Competing Values Framework states that the values and the corresponding organizational cultures compete with each other. Organizations can spend their money, attention and time only once, so they tend to emphasize certain values. Research shows that there is no single "best" culture type. The best mix of culture types depends on the situation. In a saturated market for instance, you could flourish with a competitive market culture, while this culture would produce opposite effects in a start up company that thrives on innovation, creativity and serving new developing markets.

You can find your unique culture mix of for instance, people-oriented clan culture and results-oriented market culture. Knowing your specific mix of internal focus and flexibility (clan culture) versus external focus and stability (market culture), you can prepare a successful pathway to the preferred situation.

Just rate the six key aspects of organizational culture again, but this time you keep the preferred future in mind. In just 15 minutes an entire team or organization can assess their starting point and their goal.

Nowadays, there's an online automated OCAI tool available that is free for individual participants and at a very reasonable price for teams and organizations.

Using this online tool, every participant receives their personal profiles of current and preferred culture by email. A team of participants can discuss their personal profiles and create a joint profile as a basis for their change program.

This provides a clear, quantified starting point for change.

A culture profile gives a lot of quantified information:

   1. The dominant culture and its strength
   2. The difference between present and preferred culture
   5. The developmental phase of the organization

ad 1: Imagine that you have a very dominant market culture (48 out of 100 points): this indicates that people experience a culture of competition and getting things done.

ad 2: For instance, you see that employees would prefer 10 points more of a people oriented clan culture. The difference between current and preferred profiles indicates your organization's readiness to change (or their current discontent) and gives an impression what kind of change or approach would be motivating.

ad 3: Congruence means that the 6 key features of culture align, so that they all emphasize, for instance, market culture. ad 4 and 5: It's interesting to compare your culture profile with your economic sector and see how mature your organization is. Cultures evolve over time from extreme flexibility to more stability and an external orientation.

Qualitative fine tuning

Working with your results in an OCAI workshop is adding qualitative information, fine-tuning your profile, understanding it better and working on consensus about the current and preferred situation. When this is accomplished, you mobilize people's readiness to change. That's a lot of potential to work with. 6 Advantages to Performance

Conclusively, diagnosing and changing organizational culture can actually pay off if it's done correctly. Let culture work for you and enhance performance.

As a consultant guiding organizational change I got enthusiastic about using the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument. The OCAI has 6 advantages that help organizations enhance performance:

   4. It's quantitative: based on figures, completed by qualitative information when working with the results to establish the desired changes.
   6. It's valid: the OCAI is validated and people recognize their outcomes.

So if you're planning a roadmap to change, spend 15 minutes on your current position.


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