About six years ago I stumbled upon the Competing Values Framework and have been a big fan ever since. As a leadership consultant, I immediately integrated this tool and my first client was a major, worldwide hotel where I worked with one of its busiest properties in mid-town New York City. What became quickly apparent was how easy the assessment is to conduct, how easy the results are to understand, and how interesting the whole approach can be.
Calling customer service, you immediately hear whether they really care or whether they feel indifferent. Intuitively we all know the importance of employee engagement. And research confirms it. In a study of professional service firms for instance, it was found that offices with engaged employees were up to 43% more productive. I'm a much happier customer when the service employee cares about my problem and puts in maximum effort to solve it...
The engaged employee is engaged in the work, their co-workers and the workplace. This is what employers and executives are looking for: People who are committed and participate, who think about improving, changing and so on. They have this magic "ownership" that is crucial for successful change. They have intrinsic motivation and feel responsible. They supply energy and ideas and will go the extra mile. At least, if you don't frustrate them unnecessarily and give them a chance to participate.
"The OCAI assessment made the need for market culture apparent. Team opinion shifted."
How do you take advantage of the results of your organizational culture assessment? It's essential to work these out during an OCAI workshop. Berrie Stam, regional manager at Philadelphia Care (care for disabled people), shares their story with us. "We achieved a great outcome. The team suddenly understood that they need more than just getting along well. Resistance to targets and results disappeared when the team realized that they are necessary for a successful future."
Philadelphia's management team, consisting of location managers, health care counselors, and executives participated in the useful OCAI workshop. People usually have an overall picture of their organizational culture. So does the Philadelphia team, as we saw during a meeting on a sunny day during springtime in Zwolle. They describe their culture with the key word "solidarity".
“The OCAI assessment improves understanding and incites reflection,” according to Ytje Jensma. She is an operational manager at the UMCG Rehabilitation Center. “It turned out that we have a dominant clan culture—more than I expected. I have seen how important a friendly working environment is. A private hospital was understaffed in spite of good salaries, because doctors and patients were bossing the nurses around.”
Many people and organizations are still recovering from the credit crunch. The wrongdoers: banks and other financial organizations or banksters. Their image is cold, competitive, hungry for power, and even greedy. President Obama announced strong measures to control banks.
So what would the overall organizational culture be in Dutch financial organizations? We dived into our database and calculated the profiles for the financial sector: a results-oriented business indeed, but there’s more focus on people than expected…. Striking is their strong wish for less focus on performance and more emphasis on innovation. But should we support that?
What’s the diagnosis for the health care sector? The National Survey on Organizational Culture in Health Care in the Netherlands found that managers and professionals are dissatisfied with their organizational culture. This study, based on the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument, was carried out among 1,613 doctors, nurses, caretakers, managers, and boards of directors. It turns out that more focus on people, market orientation, and innovation is urgently needed.