Is your company responding effectively to today’s challenges? Are you prepared to face what the future brings? Regardless of your answer, the culture of your organization has a lot to say. Identifying and properly managing corporate culture has a positive impact on performance and can enhance a company’s ability to respond to the challenges of the environment.
But what is culture? We define culture as a set of values, norms, beliefs, and assumptions that govern how we work and what we do. However, this definition may seem a bit abstract. At Axialent, we have found that company culture can be made tangible and visible using the OCI® (Organizational Culture Inventory®) and OEI® (Organizational Effectiveness Inventory®) in combination with qualitative approaches (focus groups, interviews, etc.).
The OCI provides a diagnosis of an organization’s current culture in terms of the behavioral norms or “unwritten rules” driving the behavior of team members. An organization’s ideal culture can be identified using the OCI Ideal, which can then be used to identify the gaps between the ideal and current culture. This is a key diagnostic tool used to understand where to focus change efforts based on the outcomes or results (innovation, customer experience, etc.) targeted for improvement. The OEI goes far beyond engagement or satisfaction surveys. It measures aspects of the work climate (systems, structures, leadership skills, etc.) that reinforce or shape the current culture.
Additionally, our wide experience in culture transformation has shown us that in order to achieve successful and sustainable cultural change, it is critical to engage the leaders of an organization. We integrate the LSI diagnostic tool as well as the OCI-OEI. The LSI® (Life Styles Inventory®) is a 360º assessment to understand the personal thinking and behavioral style of a leader.
We recommend integrating the OCI-OEI and LSI diagnostics in culture transformation for these five reasons:
1. Culture and leadership are intimately connected
You cannot truly understand one without the other. Leaders define the ideal culture of the organization based on what they value and believe leads to effectiveness. At the same time, they shape the current culture through the way they behave and the decisions they make.
2. For culture to change, leaders must change
Culture transformation starts with the leaders’ personal commitment to become role models of the culture they want to create. Leaders’ behavior has a significant impact on the organization, with employees emulating it to “fit in” with the company. Therefore, a leader’s transformation is an important lever for others to model their behavior to achieve the desired culture. Furthermore, engaging leaders from the beginning is a powerful symbol for the whole organization. It shows that “this is important and we are all accountable for change.”
3. Measuring the gap makes the invisible, visible
The combination of OCI-OEI and LSI provides a laser-sharp analysis of the norms, behaviors, and attitudes that make up the culture of the organization, both collectively (OCI-OEI) and individually (LSI). Debriefing the results creates awareness about the gap between the current and ideal culture of the organization and the leaders’ personal style. Leaders can therefore better understand how their personal change efforts link to and impact the organizational culture challenge.
4. A common language accelerates the change
Using integrated tools (such as the highly visual circumplex of the OCI and LSI) develops a common language to discuss, measure, and quantify culture and leaders’ individual styles across all levels. This is key to reinforcing a shared understanding of culture and individual behavior.
5. Providing a roadmap to develop plans and take actions
The results allow an organization and its leaders to identify levers for organizational and personal change so they can establish a detailed action plan for successful change management and measure their progress.
Integrate OCI-OEI and LSI diagnostic tools in culture transformation
In our experience, integrating the OCI-OEI and LSI tools is central to any culture transformation journey. They help leaders understand the ideal culture that supports their strategy. They show the extent to which the current culture is aligned with the vision of the company and the work climate that shapes the current culture. It demonstrates the leadership styles of its top people and how aligned that is with the ideal culture. These integrated findings can then be used to plan and set the priorities for change, to achieve a greater impact, and increase effectiveness.