The Question Of Culture


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Interested in culture change? Don\'t assume its easy! If you decide to undertake a serious culture-shaping effort, "caveat factor."

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  • Source: Schein (1985)
  • The Question Of Culture

    1. 1. The Question of Culture(s) Wheelwright Associates
    2. 2. Issues for Discussion <ul><li>What is Corporate Culture? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we recognize it? </li></ul><ul><li>What should we do about it? </li></ul>Wheelwright Associates
    3. 3. The Structure of Culture Wheelwright Associates Artifacts Espoused Values Basic Underlying Assumptions
    4. 4. Level One-Artifacts <ul><li>The most visible and least valuable </li></ul><ul><li>Climate, behaviors, décor </li></ul><ul><li>Rites, myths and rituals </li></ul>Wheelwright Associates
    5. 5. Level 2-Espoused Values <ul><li>The ‘stated’ beliefs and reasons that support the artifacts </li></ul><ul><li>Historical ‘truths’, principles, ethics </li></ul><ul><li>Data comes from individual ‘informants’ or those ‘in the know’ </li></ul>Wheelwright Associates
    6. 6. Level 3-Basic Underlying Assumptions <ul><li>What really matters to people, what they ‘really believe’ to be true. </li></ul><ul><li>Supported by the success and failures the group has experienced </li></ul><ul><li>Invisible and ‘taken for granted’-the result of a joint learning process over time. </li></ul>Wheelwright Associates
    7. 7. Cultural Dimensions <ul><li>Culture is deep: We are controlled more by it than it by us; it provides meaning and predictability </li></ul><ul><li>Culture is broad: It touches our daily lives in the form of beliefs and assumptions, relationships, and decision making </li></ul><ul><li>Culture is stable: Because we like things ‘our way’ we defend our cultures vigorously against intrusion and change </li></ul>Wheelwright Associates
    8. 8. How To ‘Work On’ Culture <ul><li>Must be tied to a specific ‘business problem’ you are facing </li></ul><ul><li>Must engage groups rather than individuals in the process </li></ul><ul><li>Must eventually be joined/led by Sr. Execs who are willing to examine their own contributions at each of the 3 levels </li></ul>Wheelwright Associates
    9. 9. Process Steps <ul><li>To be repeated with multiple groups until a ‘complete’ picture emerges. </li></ul><ul><li>To be repeated wherever there are significant sub-cultures </li></ul><ul><li>To include members from all levels or organization </li></ul>Wheelwright Associates
    10. 10. Step 1 <ul><li>Define the Business Problem or something you would like to fix that has material strategic or tactical import for the success of your business. Do not ‘create’ problems as a justification for working on the culture and make sure your choices are concrete and understandable by the organization at large. </li></ul>Wheelwright Associates
    11. 11. Step Two <ul><li>Review the concept of culture with the assembled group. They will need to understand the 3 levels and the implications of each for culture change. </li></ul>Wheelwright Associates
    12. 12. Step Three <ul><li>Identify the artifacts of culture including, policies, procedures, dress codes, working hours, meetings, decision processes, communications etc. </li></ul>Wheelwright Associates
    13. 13. Step Four <ul><li>Identify the organizations espoused values . What is published, stated, or commonly held to be the organizations guiding principles or values? </li></ul>Wheelwright Associates
    14. 14. Step 5 <ul><li>Compare Values & Artifacts to surface the shared assumptions. Do the values and artifacts support one another? If not, what do the inconsistencies mean? Root out the shared assumptions that drive the inconsistent behaviors </li></ul>Wheelwright Associates
    15. 15. Step Six <ul><li>Assess the shared assumptions from all groups. Identify those assumptions that: </li></ul><ul><li>That really add value and use them to change less useful elements </li></ul><ul><li>Can be easily changed </li></ul><ul><li>That will help with the business problem </li></ul>Wheelwright Associates
    16. 16. Key Questions for Geoworks <ul><li>Should the subcultures we know to exist be allowed to coexist independently? </li></ul><ul><li>Should one culture impose itself on the other? </li></ul><ul><li>Should the cultures be blended to get the best of both? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the implications of each of these approaches? </li></ul>Wheelwright Associates
    17. 17. Just The Beginning Wheelwright Associates