A challenge to organization development is the existing culture of the organization. All companies have a culture & people are unaware of how this culture inhibits or amplifies change.
Trying to work with the current culture in a co-evolution organical process may allow the people within the culture to change their current behaviors & understand that their expertise is what allowed the change to happen. For this cooperation & trust attracting systems must be used.
Why Culture Surveys Do Not & Cannot Measure Culture
- You don’t know what to ask, what questions to put on the survey because you don’t know what issues or dimensions are the important ones in your corporate culture & subcultures in relation to the problem you are trying to solve.
- You will risk measuring only superficial characteristics of the culture because survey instruments cannot get at the deeper understood or implied assumptions.
- Individual respondents will misinterpret or misunderstand some questions and, therefore, provide unreliable information.
- You will not be able to perceive the interaction & patterning in the culture & subcultures.
- It is very inefficient to try to infer shared assumptions from individual responses because of individual differences in how questions are perceived.
- The survey process raises questions & builds expectations to which you may not be willing or able to respond.
- Above is from Edgar Schein ‘Corporate Culture Survival Guide’ pg. 79
What should be done instead?
Below are suggestions I plan to write more about each in the future.
- Identify a problem that will require a change in how the work gets done within the company.
- Search for areas of emergence (where difference that is helpful) is already happening & investigate what is going on. Possibly ask some people from that field to work in other areas of the company. Offer support & a reason why these people are being requested to work in other areas.
- Culture is seen through behavior. When you see behaviors that are not aligned with your perception of the culture – ask someone what is happening?
- Eradicate the belief that you can measure ‘culture.’ Part of the management culture is the faith in measurement. This creates unnecessary tension & trust repelling within the company.
- In a mixed group of employees from various parts, levels & areas of the company facilitate based upon a particular problem to be solved something like a NOISE analysis, or Current Method Better Way Matrix or Distinctive Working Well 100 Days Better process.