Skip to main content
Organizational Culture Secrets

Organizational Culture Secrets

  • 04 October 2017
  • Posted by Marcella Bremer

Companies who consider the OCAI to change their culture often ask me for success rates. Apart from OCAI’s thorough research basis and validation, they want to assess up front whether it will be worth the time and money.

Does the OCAI work?

Does the OCAI work? The truthful but rather lame answer is that the OCAI works if you put in the work.

One of our partner consultants summarizes this for her clients before they start. There are three possible outcomes when you use the OCAI to assess your current and preferred culture.

1. You look at the gap between current and preferred culture and what is necessary, and decide it's too much trouble and choose to make no changes.

2. You start a culture change initiative and after 6 months or so you stop because it didn't seem to produce immediate results.

3. You develop and follow an implementation strategy and slowly, but surely work to change your culture.

Option 2 is the worse; obviously, option 3 is optimum. Effective culture change requires a long-term awareness and commitment and also effective actions based on the engagement of the majority of organization members. That’s why I created the Change Circles approach that includes people and focuses on making culture operational by finding the daily behaviors that will make the difference if enough people do them.

What percentage of clients do you estimate see through the whole process of option 3? I’m curious to see your guesses. What percentage of companies do option 1 and move on with business as usual? What percentage aborts the change initiative and don’t see it through? I’ll tell you in the comments, later on.

Culture is competitive advantage

Of course, when gathering success stories and cases, the challenge is not only that culture change requires a sustained effort that many organizations don’t want to put in. Culture is also the secret sauce of organizations. It has been proven to affect organizational competitiveness and success. That’s why companies prefer to keep culture initiatives confidential unless they choose to promote themselves after successfully implementing option 3. Most organizations like to keep their culture secrets: out of shame over their failure or to keep the competition in the dark.

A vital question remains: how can we help people finish what they start? That’s why we have to make the change as simple and sustainable as possible. That’s why I work toward finding the easy-to-do-and-copy behaviors that make a difference, things you can keep up even if you are busy. That’s why I focus on organizing social support within your circle of colleagues.

I’d love to hear your cases and examples of successful culture change. Do you dare to share some culture secrets? Does your company go for option 1, 2 or 3?

Do you put in the work?

I invite you to join the international Culture Change Leadership Workshop to see how you can make the OCAI work for you. We'll work on assessing and developing organizational culture, organizational change, and positive leadership.

From Monday, May 28 to Wednesday, May 30, 2018, we'll enjoy 2.5 days in a limited group of international leaders and consultants so that there's personal time for everyone. The workshop is both theoretical and practical, so bring your questions and cases. 

The Early Bird is only 1899 USD until January 28, 2018, and includes the workshop, three hotel nights with breakfast, three lunches and two dinners on Monday and Tuesday! After this, the regular fee of 2499 USD applies.

I hope you’ll join me! I am looking forward to another truly diverse, international, inspiring Culture Change Leadership workshop…!

You can find more information and registration (click the Add to Cart button) is at

By Marcella Bremer

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.