In my last post, I introduced you to the machine maintenance company MM that faced increasing competition and had to become more profitable. However, the CEO’s response was to push hard for more efficiency and focus on the numbers which led to micro-management. Combined with their current culture tendency to organize everything in a phonebook of rules and procedures, they were slowing down, and they felt stifled.
After looking at some powerful questions based on the Competing Values Framework, let’s look at this case that illustrates the crucial role of (positive) leadership. It shows how an “old-fashioned” CEO stifles an organization and how one division considers taking ownership of their change. Positive leadership started with asking different questions and giving their staff more space and trust to solve the challenges of this division…
We understand what current culture entails from values down to behaviors and we have identified the “shadow side”: the less-effective behaviors that we would like to stop, do less of, or change in any way.
What are the “undiscussables” in your workplace? Is there something that almost everyone knows but no one mentions…? Welcome to the heart of organizational culture! Undiscussables are essential to understanding company culture, let alone change it.
Last year, the New York Times revealed that there was “an elephant in the room” at Harvard business school. The undiscussable was gender equity resulting in females getting lower grades. Also, both female staff and students felt pressure to dress well, ‘look hot’ and not be ‘too assertive.'
There’s a new way of organizing and collaborating emerging around the globe – as Frederic Laloux shows in his book Reinventing Organizations. Let’s take a closer look at “new organizations” with a case study – and examine the three key things that they do differently: self-management, wholeness and purpose.
Would you expect consultants who improve processes in software companies care about corporate culture? Maybe not. However, Jorge Boria and his company do because he found that it works best to start any change with respect for the current culture...
"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".
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.