Shaping Organizational Culture
We help shape the organization’s culture to drive strategic objectives
through the understanding of individual cultural profiles
Isolating The Definition Of Organizational Culture
The incorporation of behaviors, habits, and practices into some definitions of organizational culture has led to mechanisms that attempt to quantify organizational culture through perception and organizational climate surveys that lead to the measurement of the manifestations (organizational climate) and reasons (behaviors, habits, and practices), but not the cause (drivers, beliefs, and values.) Cullture is intuitive and it drives the choices that individuals make without realizing that they’re making choices.
This concept can allow us to isolate organizational culture to include the elements that intuitively and sometimes unconsciously determine our choices: drivers, beliefs, and values while redefining behaviors, habits, and practices as the organizational identity. The combination of organizational culture, the organizational identity, and external forces produce the organizational climate.
Our Proprietary Model
Our model presents ten belief driven dimensions that can have a significant impact on how individuals interact as a group with shared goals and responsibilities. The model does not seek to establish a correct or incorrect pattern for a group. It is meant to help visualize the belief pattern of a cultural profile and a cultural environment to support transformation, integration, and adaptation
The discipline dimension measures the individual’s beliefs regarding discipline and how it reflects on their structure, predictability, work ethic, habits and behaviors.
The left extreme (Ambiguous) characterizes individuals that believe that circumstances and relationships should dictate specific outcomes. Their response to a specific situation may change based on the exceptional nature of circumstances including what is happening in the moment, and who’s involved. Individuals in this type of culture tend to feel comfortable with uncertainty and ambiguity because they know things become clear once they are placed into the context of a unique set of circumstances.
The right extreme (Defined) characterizes individuals that believe in strict adherence to laws, rules, values, and obligations. Individuals in this type of culture tend to imply equality in the sense that all persons, employees, or citizens, considered under the rule should be treated the same regardless of circumstance. People in these environments maintain rigid codes of belief and are intolerant to open interpretation of rules. They tend to feel very uncomfortable with uncertainty and ambiguity.
The formality dimension measures the individual’s beliefs on how instructions, laws, rules, values, and obligations should be perceived and treated within the group.
The left extreme (flexible) characterizes individuals that believe the ability to be reactive and highly capable of improvisation is important. They accept high unpredictability as a consequence. Individuals in these groups tend to be flexible about processes, procedures, and time integrating social and emotional circumstances into the variables that affect the outcome and predictability of a task. These groups treat tasks as non-sequential and place a high value on flexible habits and their capability to react to unpredictable circumstances in a creative fashion. They often see schedules, plans, and commitments as flexible and dependent on external circumstances.
The right extreme (strict) characterizes individuals that believe that small persistent tasks and actions lead to results and greater goals. These individuals are willing to sacrifice their immediate comfort in order to persist and achieve predictable results with a strong focus on processes and procedures. Individuals detach social and emotional circumstances from the task at hand. These groups place a high value on punctuality and treat tasks as sequential, placing a value on planning, meticulously executing the plan, and staying on schedule. They feel that potential deviations that can be a product of external circumstances should be predicted, planned and managed in a proactive manner.
The awareness dimension measures the individual’s beliefs about whether the focus of the individual or the organization should be internal or external.
The left extreme (internal) characterizes individuals that believe that survival and progress are based on internal awareness and the capability to adapt to a changing environment. Individuals in this type of culture believe that the strength, bond, effectiveness, and efficiency of the group allows them to better deal with external pressures and changes that are beyond their control. Their focus is on adapting.
The right extreme (external) characterizes individuals that believe that survival and progress is based on external awareness and driving change in their environment. People in these environments believe that they need to drive change to minimize potential issues that could be beyond their control in order to better position themselves to be effective and efficient. Their focus is on driving change.
The fertility dimension measures the individual’s beliefs related to the support of growth, change, and development of people, ideas and concepts.
The left extreme (open) characterizes individuals that believe it is important to be accessible and open to new people, ideas, and concepts. These type of individuals are willing to take measured risks and explore new things. They tend to adapt, and their styles tend to change based on the challenge at hand and the strength and weaknesses of other members of the group. Individuals in these groups tend to balance between adapting themselves to the environment and forcing a change in the environment in order to create a new set of circumstances. They favor diversity and take great pride in being innovators and pioneers. Their awareness tends to center on external circumstances and factors that they need to consider to challenge the status quo.
The right extreme (closed) characterizes individuals that believe it is important to be protective of their environment, legacy, and heritage. Individuals in these groups tend to have a very clear role and purpose within the organization with clearly defined and strict codes of principles and behaviors. These groups tend to place a high value on homogeneity, stability, and certainty avoiding actions that can put them at risk. They are cautious when it comes to ideas, concepts, and outsiders that can alter the stability and certainty of the group. These groups tend to focus on gradually adapting themselves to the environment and take great pride in their resilience, predictability, and uniqueness. Their awareness tends to center on internal circumstances and factors that may affect the status quo.
The status dimension measures how individuals perceive and react to their relative, social, and professional standing.
The left extreme (attribution) characterizes individuals that believe others should attribute a particular status to individuals based on whom they are. Power, title, lineage, and position matter to these persons, and should be factors that influence the standing of people within the organization. Individuals in these groups seek respect and influence based on whom they know and place a high value on authority, especially when decisions have to be made, and favors can be exchanged. These groups see respect and loyalty for superiors as a measure of an individual’s commitment to the organization and a right of passage in order to move up in the hierarchy.
The right extreme (accomplishment) characterizes individuals that believe status should be based on achievement and performance regardless of whom they are or where they come from. Age, race, gender, or lineage are not factors that define the status. These individuals value systems in which people are evaluated based on their capabilities and move ahead on the basis of achievement and merit. In these environments, titles are used for practical reasons, and when they are relevant to accomplishing specific tasks or defining responsibilities. They value organizations where knowledge, experience, and how effective a person is in performing their role define hierarchies and respect.
The authority dimension measures the individual’s beliefs related to how groups define power, make decisions, manage control, and enforce discipline.
The left extreme (participative) characterizes individuals that believe decision-making should be spread across different levels of the organization and involve a participative process. These individuals tend to place a high value on their ability to collaborate and achieve consensus across diverse teams. Individuals with authority in these groups feel that it is not their responsibility to make decisions but rather lead teams to make them. These individuals believe in hierarchies that tend to be flat with top-light teams of leaders focused on assigning responsibility..
The right extreme (autocratic) characterizes individuals that believe decision-making should concentrated in the top ranks of a hierarchical organization. These individuals tend to favor making decisions within a controlled group that also decides who will deliver. People with authority in these groups feel that it is their duty to dictate what needs to be done so the group can function effectively. They focus on assigning and managing tasks while retaining responsibilities. These individuals place a high value on the chain of command and strict lines of authority. They rely on them in order to distribute work, monitor progress and achieve results.
The purpose dimension measures the individual’s beliefs related to the
elements that should drive behavior and the reason for which individuals do things within the context of a narrow, short-term goal or a broad, long-term focus.
The left extreme (organic) characterizes individuals that believe that it is crucial to consider the impact of today’s actions on tomorrow. Developing the means, processes, and capabilities take precedence over short-term goals to guarantee sustainable long-term progress. In other words, the ends do not justify the means. These individuals see results as the consequence of a healthy organization and not specifically the purpose of the organization. These Individuals value long term effectiveness and efficiency and are willing to sacrifice results today in order to achieve sustainable results tomorrow.
The right extreme (mechanic) characterizes individuals that believe that the purpose of the organization is to achieve specific goals, and a strong focus is placed on the short-term effectiveness of the organization. For these individuals, the end justifies the means. They can adapt, tolerate, and accept different methods in order to achieve the result. These Individuals value short-term effectiveness and efficiency and will work to extract as much as possible today, assuming that tomorrow will bring a different set of unknown circumstances to which the will find a way to adapt.
The reliance dimension measures the individual’s beliefs related to the level of independence of people in the group from the rest of the organization or their external environment in order to achieve their goals and tasks.
The left extreme (dependent) characterizes individuals that believe their ability to achieve their goals and objectives are dependent on external forces that are beyond their realm of control. These individuals feel that they continuously have to work around obstacles in their environment in order to achieve results. They place a high value on the support they may or may not get from others in order to be successful. These individuals tend to attribute their success or failure to their ability to obtain external support and tend to deflect responsibility onto factors that are controlled by someone else.
The right extreme (independent) characterizes individuals that believe they must manage or control everything that affects their ability to achieve their goals and objectives. This includes working with other people within their group and managing the complexities of their environment. These individuals believe that it is their responsibility to navigate obstacles and drive expected results regardless of the external forces that can work against them.
The community dimension measures the individual’s beliefs related to how the needs and purpose of a person are balanced against the needs and purpose of the group.
The left extreme (group) characterizes individuals that think of themselves as part of a group and believe that the group that provides a larger, stable, and dependable structure is more important than themselves. They consider the group first since it provides help and safety, in exchange for loyalty. These individuals feel a strong sense of empathy to others and acknowledge interdependence. They understand the benefits and are willing to maintain this interdependence by doing for others what they expect others to do for them. The group always comes before the individual, but it is important to note that the group is not the broad organization. It can be a close-knit group of people that watch over each other within a larger organization.
The right extreme (individual) characterizes individuals that believe in personal freedom and achievement and place themselves before the group. They feel it is more important to focus on individual goals and desires and value independence and self-reliance so that they can contribute to the community as and if they wish. These individuals see the organization as an enabler and their relationship with the community exists for mutual benefit and synergy. They believe that individuals must make their decisions and that they must take care of themselves in order for the broader group to be healthy and prevail.
The involvement dimension measures the individual’s beliefs related to blending their personal, social and work life.
The left extreme (diffuse) characterizes individuals that believe an overlap between their work, social, and personal life is natural and acceptable. These individuals believe that the context of work or personal lives should not limit or confine good relationships. They feel personal relationships are vital to achieving business objectives. Their relationships with others are treated the same, whether they are at work or meeting socially. These individuals feel that spending time outside work hours with colleagues and clients is important to build trust and cohesive teams.
The right extreme (specific) characterizes individuals that believe it is healthy and natural to keep work, social, and personal lives separate. These individuals believe that social relationships do not have much of an impact on work objectives. While they can understand that good relationships are important, they feel that people can work together without necessarily having a strong social relationship outside of work. In many instances, these individuals tend to believe that bringing personal and social relationships into the workplace can be both distracting and detrimental to fact-based decisions.
Assessing The Ten Organizational Culture Dimensions
Our proprietary assessment evaluates the ten organizational culture dimensions. It evaluates and grades an individual on each of the ten organizational culture dimensions. Each dimension is graded on a scale from -10 to +10. The array of grades for the ten dimensions represents the individual’s culture profile.
The grades of all of the individuals in a cultural environment or group are used to obtain a statistical profile for a particular organizational culture dimension. The resulting statistical profiles for all cultural dimensions constitute the profile for the cultural environment.
The statistical aggregate of the ten dimensions can help identify essential characteristics of an organization and the organization’s tolerance for individuals that fit or do not fit into the group’s beliefs. For example, a tall and narrow statistical distribution curve for a dimension signals little diversity and tolerance for variation of beliefs in the group for that particular dimension. In contrast, a flat wide statistical distribution curve would indicate high diversity and tolerance in the beliefs related to the dimension.
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