Culture Assessment is designed for the Human Resource or Organization Effectiveness professional who has responsibility for managing culture during a merger, acquisition or strategic change. It contains everything you need to successfully prepare for, conduct and present results for a culture assessment.
Culture Assessment includes:
- Culture Assessment How-To Guide
- Templates for Planning Logistics and Communication
- Assessment Questions and Guidance for Data Gathering
- Methodology for Data Summary and Conclusions
Download Culture Assessment today for use throughout your organization.
Culture is often defined as “the way we do things around here.” Over time, it becomes so ingrained and so “right” that it can be difficult for mature employees to describe and even more difficult to change. Culture is neither good or bad; however, it has enormous influence over the organization’s long-term success. During times of organizational change, whether due to a new strategic direction, financial crisis or the integration of two organizations, understanding culture provides the information needed to understand what behaviors to expect and how to intervene to assure success.
Align Strategy and Culture
If strategy is the ‘what’ then culture is the ‘how’. When an organization’s strategy changes, typically the culture must also shift to align with the new direction. For example, a strategy that strives for innovative new product ideas will not be successful if the culture is risk averse, values the “tried and true” and is permission-oriented. Understanding the gaps between the culture the strategy needs to be successful and culture that exists provides a starting place for modifying misaligned cultural elements.
Increase Speed of Mergers & Acquisitions Integration
Bringing two different cultures together inevitably leads to conflict. By understanding each other’s culture, misunderstandings can be reduced and conflict can be replaced by dialogue. By illuminating the similarities and differences, the leaders of both organizations can discuss the culture and behaviors they are experiencing in non-judgmental language, thus reducing unnecessary conflict and speeding integration.
Analyze Behaviors Required for Business Turn-around
When businesses struggle to perform, there is often a component of culture that contributed to the problem. Understanding these cultural elements allows leaders to highlight specific behaviors that must change in order for the organization to become successful again.
Determining an organization’s culture isn’t an exact science; however, there are many clues that can help identify what is valued and how those values play out in the day-to-day behaviors and decisions of leaders and employees. This knowledge can reduce unpleasant surprises and increase the ability to plan for potential resistence that could derail the success of strategic change. In the case of an acquisition integration, understanding the two cultures allows candid discussion which helps build a successful partnership. Understanding culture takes time. This process provides a basic awareness of the key elements of an organization’s culture. Comparing the current culture to the culture that is needed to support the integration or strategy change provides the information needed to determine what proactive actions will help ensure success.
Step 1: Define Outcomes
The culture assessment process begins with a clear, shared understanding of the purpose for doing the assessment. For example, in an acquisition the goal might be to fully integrate and create one shared culture, or it might be to understand each other’s culture so that everyone works well together even though each group will operate autonomously. For strategic change, perhaps the goal is to diagnose what is and isn’t working and change the things that aren’t working. Begin the culture assessment process by making sure the leaders who are managing the change have a clear, shared understanding of the desired outcome. With shared outcomes in place, expectations are clear, communication is accurate and resources are used most effectively. The Logistics Plan
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