ASSESSMENT & CHANGE
What is organizational culture?
Organizational culture concerns the deeply rooted beliefs, values, and
norms shared by the members of an organization. While these beliefs and
values generally are not directly visible, they drive and are reflected
in the actions taken by an organization. What you strive to
be as an organization and what you think you endorse may be different
than the beliefs and values that are actually being played out. It is
critical that you find out who you really are before you can decide who
you want to be.
The purposes and benefits of cultural assessment:
Fit of Culture with Strategic Objectives
Why would a company be interested
in assessing its culture? First of all, if an organization is interested
in maximizing its ability to attain its strategic objectives, it must
understand if its culture supports and drives the actions necessary to
achieve its goals. An in-depth cultural assessment, based on quantitative
data and interviews, can enable a company to determine the difference
between its current culture and its desired culture. This information
can then be used to design interventions for cultural change.
For example, a company may wish to assess its desired competencies for
success and match these against an assessment of its existing culture.
Such a gap analysis can enable a company to develop appropriate interventions
ranging from leadership development to large scale system changes to enhance
its ability to achieve its strategic objectives.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Second, companies are merging with and acquiring
each other in unprecedented and growing numbers today. While it's a sad
fact that one out of two marriages end in divorce today, corporate couplings
fare even worse. Of the 340 mergers Mercer Consulting analyzed over the
past decade, 57% of acquiring companies produced poor returns in the three
years after the deal, compared with others in their industry.
Why do many acquisitions destroy shareholder value rather than create
it? Surprisingly, it has nothing to do with having paid too high a purchase
price or a lack of strategic fit. Rather, those companies which fail to
win the support of customers and employees immediately after the merger
are those that fare the worst. Understanding the two organizations' cultures
is critical to being able to successfully weave them and their employees
together quickly, so that productivity and customer service are uninterrupted.
Just as two individuals with differing values and beliefs will not last
long together, so it is also true for organizations. Thus, many companies
include cultural assessment as part of their due diligence process, to
discern before they get to the altar if the cultural differences could
be managed after a merger.
Fit of new hires with culture
Third, a company may wish to optimize the fit of new hires into its corporate
culture. With corporations, especially in high technology, hiring huge
numbers of new employees at a breakneck pace, it is critical that
they hire people who fit their current culture (or the new culture they want to create). This is possible only with an in-depth understanding
of the current and/or desired culture, as well as a comprehensive evaluation
of the candidate's personality, values and behaviors. Finding the best
fit with the culture is critical to maximizing a candidate's productivity
The Turknett Cultural Assessment Process
The process includes an
objective quantitative survey
and in-depth interviews. Generally, the survey is first administered to a
stratified random sampling of a company's employees. Turknett consultants
then conduct individual two hour interviews with a significantly smaller
number of employees of the company's choice.
After the results of the assessment have been analyzed, Turknett consultants
will conduct in-depth one-on-one interviews to more thoroughly explore
key themes surfaced and to probe issues which can not be explored
using a quantitative questionnaire format.
Sample questions include:
- Give me 10 words you would use to describe the organization.
- Who really
gets ahead in this organization?
- What and who is really rewarded around
- What are some of the war stories or legendary events in the organization's
- What does the CEO or leader pay the most attention to? Where
does his/her energy get expended and what does s/he reward?
The results of the interviews are then analyzed by Turknett consultants
and combined with the data collected from the survey to create a comprehensive
and in-depth assessment of your company's culture. This analysis will
include how strong and cohesive your culture is and the sources of your
organization's values and beliefs. These can influence how easily a culture
can be changed or incorporated with another culture.
We will help you to make the cultural changes that the cultural assessment
indicates are necessary for you to most effectively achieve your strategic
objectives and/or integrate a new culture with your own. We draw on our
consultants' expertise in strategic planning, anthropology and psychology
to design interventions that achieve your objectives. Such interventions
can include culture and climate change management, development of success
competencies that match the desired culture, and/or succession planning
and leadership development to enhance the creation of the desired culture
and or integration of two different cultures.