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Organizational Culture Change

The OCAI Assessment is done: participants receive their personal profiles, and there's a results report with the collective profiles you ordered, either for teams, locations, positions, and the organization as a whole. 

Now the real work starts. The culture assessment is the first intervention in organizational culture. It makes people aware of “how we do things around here” and prompts expectations of organizational culture change.

Diagnose and change organizational culture

The OCAI provides a validated, visual and quantitative profile of current and preferred culture. To change or improve the culture it's necessary to make culture "operational." As culture is in part "the way we do things around here" - what are we doing, what should we change, and how could we do so? If you translate the competing values and archetypes of culture to the typical daily happenings in your organization you will see concrete steps to change. 

You're looking for the typical beliefs, behaviors, and events that represent your current culture. Next, you'll discover what needs to change to move toward the desired future. Please note: generic A-B-C advice is not effective. As every organization is different, it's important to understand the typical details of your culture and to customize your change efforts.

OCAI online recommends the culture change approach for organizations described in Marcella Bremer's book “Organizational Culture Change”. Also see Marcella Bremer's book "Developing a Positive Culture" that offers Interaction Interventions and team practices in a network approach of culture change.

Organizational Culture Change Process Outline

  1. Online Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument
  2. OCAI Workshop, Culture Focus Group, or Change Circle 
  3. Recurring Change Circles/meetings to sustain the changes
  4. E-learning added to your onsite culture change process

1. Online Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument

Your team or organization assesses the current and preferred culture with the online OCAI survey.

2. OCAI Workshop, Culture Focus Group, or Change Circle

In an OCAI Workshop (name it as you like) you work with your OCAI assessment results to:

  1. Understand the quantified culture profile
  2. Specify current culture 
  3. Reality check of the desired culture
  4. Specify preferred culture 
  5. Develop a How-to-change plan

In an OCAI workshop or Change Circle, participants discuss the culture profiles to reach consensus and to chunk down from values to daily behaviors. You have to make culture operational for our account managers, engineers, front desk staff and factory workers. Translate culture to behaviors. Participants develop their change plan to move toward the new culture, take ownership and start doing it with mutual support. The OCAI Work Kit offers a manual, workshop schedules, exercises and presentation slide to go through this process.

Why would you bother to invite associates to culture workshops? Because you cannot order people to change their beliefs and behaviors in a top-down way. Top-down may seem fast but often evokes resistance. The OCAI helps to build employee engagement: people become aware of culture and co-create the change.

When you spend this time at the beginning of the change process, you save time in the end and set your organization up for success.

In this engaging process of culture meetings, you'll build trust and solve objections and doubts together. This will reduce resistance and enhance commitment. Working with information from all levels, you'll even improve the change plan.  

The OCAI workshops lead to:

  • Qualitative, customized insights and consensus of culture
  • Information from all positions and perspectives, thus: better changes to implement
  • Commitment to change (provided that you seriously work through objections)
  • Engagement and ownership
  • This Change approach helps to develop successful, sustainable change.

But is it feasible? Yes, it can be done! The entire organization does workshops in their own teams or you organize open-enrollment workshops for those associates that are interested in working with culture.

You can roll out from the top down, starting with the top executives, followed by all the other teams. Everyone works to make culture operational and customizes their team change plan within the direction outlined by the top executives.

Or work with people who volunteer for the workshops, from all levels and departments. They create their change plan and become the ambassadors of change. You leverage the network nature of organizations with this Organizational Culture Change approach.

You can read more here about the one-day OCAI Culture Workshop.

3. Recurring Change Circles/meetings to sustain the changes

People also need the perseverance to change. OCAI workshop teams or Change Circles offer mutual support while practicing new behaviors and interventions. After the first OCAI-workshop, people might convene every 2-4 weeks to keep the change going and adjust plans if needed.

Some teams use the first 30 minutes of a regular meeting to check in on culture behaviors. What matters is that you keep working with culture.

4. E-learning added to your onsite culture change process

Organizational culture change requires collective learning. A critical mass of organization members must change how they think, what they value, and how they interact and act - or nothing will change in daily reality. Culture change does not happen on paper!

That's where the online Culture Academy can help. Based on easy-to-do positive "interaction interventions," leaders and team members alike learn how to develop the culture to be more positive and productive.

Each module explains more about culture and positive (self-)leadership, offers tools, and invites people to customize and apply them on the job.

People are enticed to take ownership and action, and to change "the way we do things around here." It's great for both successful change and engagement. As research shows, when someone learns from, interacts with, and has an impact on the real world in real-time, higher retention of new learning occurs.

E-learning can be a great addition to your in-person workshops and focus groups. This can help busy professionals to develop an effective culture that will become the "new normal."
Check out the curriculum and see how the Positive Culture Academy for teams can leverage your organizational culture change process.

Want to Learn more about Organizational Culture Change?

OCAI online offers several options to learn about culture change with the OCAI. Marcella Bremer wrote two practical books. We offer two video training courses and a 2.5-day Culture Change Leadership workshop in-company or with open enrollment. You can find more information when you navigate to our OCAI Products Page.