The reengineering alternative. A plan for making your current culture work.

Each orga­ni­za­tion has a core cul­ture, a fun­da­men­tal way to achieve the suc­cess. A con­trol orga­ni­za­tion is about pow­er, a col­lab­o­ra­tion orga­ni­za­tion is about teams and team­work, a com­pe­tence cul­ture focus­es on achieve­ments and a cul­ti­va­tion cul­ture is con­cerned with growth and poten­tial. Suc­cess­ful orga­ni­za­tions are focused and are aware of their inner core cul­ture. They use the strengths of their cul­ture which must be in bal­ance with the nature of their busi­ness and strive to suc­ceed every day.

One can­not force-feed any pro­gram, strat­e­gy or project into an orga­ni­za­tion unless it is con­gru­ent with the com­pa­ny cul­ture.

The mean­ing and impor­tance of orga­ni­za­tion­al cul­ture

As of this book, orga­ni­za­tion­al cul­ture is an orga­ni­za­tion’s way to suc­cess. The con­cept of core cul­ture is the inner­most part of the orga­ni­za­tion’s cul­ture, the nucle­us of the cul­ture. Mov­ing from this nucle­us to the periph­ery every orga­ni­za­tion presents a spe­cif­ic com­bi­na­tion of char­ac­ter­is­tics that makes it unique. There are no such things as iden­ti­cal cul­tures, maybe sim­i­lar­i­ties can be per­ceived, but diver­si­ty is com­pa­ra­ble to nature. In addi­tion, core cul­ture does not con­vey any supe­ri­or­i­ty what so ever. There are no high­er or bet­ter cul­tures.

Orga­ni­za­tion­al cul­ture is tied up to lead­er­ship. How the lead­ers believe things should be done dri­ves the kind of cul­ture is estab­lished. Lead­ers build a par­a­digm (a con­stel­la­tion of con­cepts, val­ues, per­cep­tions and prac­tices shared by a com­mu­ni­ty), which they get from their per­son­al social expe­ri­ence. Their cul­tur­al par­a­digms are based on one of the four social insti­tu­tions and one of four indi­vid­ual moti­va­tions. The four social insti­tu­tions are mil­i­tary, fam­i­ly or ath­let­ic team, uni­ver­si­ty and reli­gious insti­tu­tions. The four indi­vid­ual moti­va­tions are pow­er, affil­i­a­tion, achieve­ment and growth.

Cul­ture is impor­tant because:

  • it pro­vides con­sis­ten­cy to the orga­ni­za­tion and its peo­ple
  • it pro­vides order and struc­ture for activ­i­ty
  • it estab­lish­es the con­di­tions for judg­ing inter­nal effec­tive­ness
  • it deter­mines the nature and the use of pow­er
  • it estab­lish­es man­age­ment prac­tices
  • it lim­its strat­e­gy (Peter Druck­er: “cul­ture eats strat­e­gy for break­fast”)

Core Cul­ture: A ques­tion­naire

This is a ques­tion­naire to deter­mine an orga­ni­za­tion’s core cul­ture. Focus on your whole orga­ni­za­tion and not just your group, or depart­ment.
    1. When all is said and done, the way we accom­plish suc­cess in this orga­ni­za­tion is to:
      1. Put a col­lec­tion of peo­ple togeth­er, build them into a team, and charge them with ful­ly uti­liz­ing one anoth­er as resources.
      2. Pro­vide the con­di­tions where­by the peo­ple with­in the orga­ni­za­tion can devel­op and make valu­able accom­plish­ments.
      3. Cre­ate an orga­ni­za­tion that has the high­est pos­si­ble lev­el of com­pe­tence and cap­i­tal­ize on that com­pe­tence.
      4. Get and keep con­trol.
    2. What do we pay atten­tion to pri­mar­i­ly in our orga­ni­za­tion and how do we decide about things?
      1. We pay atten­tion to what might be and we decide by rely­ing on what evolves from with­in the hearts and minds of our peo­ple.
      2. We pay atten­tion to what is and we decide by rely­ing on what evolves from with­in the hearts and minds of our peo­ple.
      3. We pay atten­tion to what is and we decide by rely­ing on objec­tive and detached analy­sis.
      4. We pay atten­tion to what might be and we decide by rely­ing on objec­tive and detached analy­sis.
    3. The peo­ple with the most pow­er and influ­ence in the orga­ni­za­tion:
      1. Are both con­trib­u­tors and team play­ers, who are an essen­tial part of the team. Peo­ple like work­ing with them.
      2. Are experts or spe­cial­ists, who have the most knowl­edge about some­thing impor­tant.
      3. Are charis­mat­ic, can inspire oth­ers, and are good at moti­vat­ing oth­ers to devel­op their poten­tial.
      4. Have the title and posi­tion that gives them the right and author­i­ty to exer­cise pow­er and influ­ence.
    4. In our orga­ni­za­tion, “suc­cess” means:
      1. Syn­er­gy. By team­ing up with one anoth­er and with our cus­tomers, we accom­plish what we are after.
      2. Growth. Suc­cess means help­ing oth­ers more ful­ly real­ize their poten­tial.
      3. Supe­ri­or­i­ty. Suc­cess means that the orga­ni­za­tion is the best, offer­ing supe­ri­or val­ue. The orga­ni­za­tion is the “state of the art” in all that it does.
      4. Dom­i­nance. Suc­cess means hav­ing more con­trol than any­one else. Com­plete suc­cess would be for the orga­ni­za­tion to be the only game in town.
    5. In our orga­ni­za­tion, lead­er­ship means:
      1. Being a cat­a­lyst. Lead­ers cul­ti­vate peo­ple. They cre­ate con­di­tions in which peo­ple are inspired to ful­fill their own and oth­ers’ poten­tial. At the same time, lead­ers build com­mit­ment to the orga­ni­za­tion.
      2. Set­ting stan­dards and work­ing hard to get peo­ple to achieve more. Lead­ers are intense taskmas­ters, who always chal­lenge work­ers to be bet­ter.
      3. Build­ing a team that will work well togeth­er. Lead­ers are coach­es. They behave as first-among-equals. They strive to rep­re­sent the peo­ple in the orga­ni­za­tion.
      4. Author­i­ty. Lead­ers are reg­u­la­tors and call the shots. They are com­mand­ing, firm, and defin­i­tive. What they say goes.
    6. When we wor­ry about some­thing in the orga­ni­za­tion, it is usu­al­ly about:
      1. Lack of uni­ty. We wor­ry most about the team being bro­ken up or alien­at­ing our cus­tomers. We wor­ry about a lack of trust among our­selves.
      2. Vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty. We wor­ry most about being in a posi­tion where oth­ers have more pow­er or mar­ket share than we do.
      3. Stag­na­tion. We wor­ry most about fail­ing to progress, sim­ply exist­ing from day to day, or even going back­wards.
      4. Los­ing. We wor­ry most about being also-rans or hav­ing our rep­u­ta­tion harmed because we could­n’t deliv­er effec­tive­ly.
    7. Our orga­ni­za­tion’s over­all man­age­ment style is best described as:
      1. Enabling. Empow­er­ing. Com­mit­ment ori­ent­ed.
      2. Chal­leng­ing. Goal ori­ent­ed. Very ratio­nal and ana­lyt­i­cal.
      3. Pre­scrip­tive. Method­i­cal. Pol­i­cy and pro­ce­dure ori­ent­ed.
      4. Demo­c­ra­t­ic. High­ly rela­tion­al. High­ly par­tic­i­pa­tive.
    8. The essen­tial role of the indi­vid­ual employ­ee in our orga­ni­za­tion is to:
      1. Per­form accord­ing to pol­i­cy and pro­ce­dure. To meet the require­ments of the job as out­lined.
      2. Be an expert. To be the best in your spe­cial­ty or area of tech­ni­cal exper­tise.
      3. Col­lab­o­rate. To be a team play­er.
      4. Be all you can be. To change, devel­op, and grow. To be com­mit­ted to the orga­ni­za­tion and its pur­pos­es.
    9. What counts most in the orga­ni­za­tion is:
      1. Evolv­ing. Real­iz­ing greater poten­tial. Ful­fill­ing com­mit­ments.
      2. Accom­plish­ing it togeth­er. Being able to say “we did it togeth­er”.
      3. Win­ning. Being rec­og­nized as the best com­peti­tor around.
      4. Not los­ing. Keep­ing what we’ve got.
    10. Which of the fol­low­ing best describes how you feel about work­ing in your orga­ni­za­tion:
      1. Things are no non­sense and restrained.
      2. Peo­ple are able to count on one anoth­er.
      3. Things are rather intense. I feel like I have to be on my toes all the time.
      4. This is a car­ing and “spir­it­ed” place. I feel sup­port­ed.
    11. What counts most in the orga­ni­za­tion is:
      1. Com­mu­ni­ty.
      2. Secu­ri­ty.
      3. Ful­fill­ment.
      4. Mer­it.
    12. Which of the fol­low­ing best describes the pri­ma­ry way deci­sions are made in the orga­ni­za­tion?
      1. We pay close atten­tion to our val­ues. We empha­size the fit between our val­ues and how close we are to real­iz­ing them. Our deci­sion-mak­ing process cen­ters on the con­gru­ence between our val­ues or pur­pos­es and what we have put into prac­tice.
      2. We pay close atten­tion to our con­cepts and stan­dards. We empha­size the fit between our the­o­ret­i­cal goals and the extent to which we achieve them. Our deci­sion-mak­ing process cen­ters on how sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly our con­cep­tu­al goals are achieved.
      3. We empha­size what the orga­ni­za­tion needs. Our deci­sion-mak­ing process cen­ters on the objec­tives of the orga­ni­za­tion and on what we need from each func­tion with­in the orga­ni­za­tion.
      4. We empha­size tap­ping into the expe­ri­ences of one anoth­er. Our deci­sion-mak­ing process cen­ters on ful­ly using our col­lec­tive expe­ri­ences and push­ing for con­sen­sus.
    13. Over­all, life inside our orga­ni­za­tion is:
      1. Intel­lec­tu­al­ly com­pet­i­tive, rig­or­ous, and intense.
      2. Spon­ta­neous, inter­ac­tive, and free and easy.
      3. Objec­tive, order­ly, and seri­ous.
      4. Sub­jec­tive, ded­i­cat­ed, and pur­pose­ful.
    14. In gen­er­al, our atti­tude toward mis­takes is:
      1. We tend to min­i­mize the impact of mis­takes and do not wor­ry too much about them. Peo­ple who make mis­takes should be giv­en anoth­er chance.
      2. We pay atten­tion to the kind of mis­take. If the mis­take can be quick­ly fixed, we go ahead and fix it. If the mis­take caus­es a func­tion to get into trou­ble or could cause the orga­ni­za­tion to become vul­ner­a­ble, we mar­shal all our resources to fix it as quick­ly as pos­si­ble. Mis­takes that affect the orga­ni­za­tion as a whole could get some­one in trou­ble.
      3. Mis­takes are near­ly taboo. We don’t like them. A per­son who makes mis­takes is looked down upon.
      4. Mis­takes are inevitable, but we man­age by pick­ing up the pieces and mak­ing the nec­es­sary cor­rec­tions before they grow into big­ger prob­lems.
    15. Con­cern­ing con­trol, which of the fol­low­ing is most empha­sized?
      1. Con­cepts and ideas. We con­trol every­thing that is crit­i­cal toward achiev­ing or pre­serv­ing our supe­ri­or­i­ty in the mar­ket­place.
      2. Every­thing crit­i­cal to keep­ing us work­ing togeth­er in the orga­ni­za­tion and retain­ing close ties with our cus­tomers.
      3. Just about every­thing. Get­ting and keep­ing con­trol is cen­tral to what the orga­ni­za­tion is and does.
      4. As lit­tle as pos­si­ble. We are put off by the notion of con­trol. We pre­fer to leave things up to the com­mit­ment and good will of our peo­ple.
    16. The essen­tial nature of work in the orga­ni­za­tion empha­sizes:
      1. Indi­vid­u­als do all three (choic­es)
      2. Spe­cial­ists. Indi­vid­u­als stay in their tech­ni­cal or oth­er spe­cial­ty. Func­tions are chan­neled into the ser­vice of spe­cial­ties.
      3. Func­tion­al­ists. Indi­vid­u­als stay with­in their func­tion. Spe­cial­ties are sub­or­di­nate to the ser­vice of func­tions.
      4. Gen­er­al­ists. Indi­vid­u­als move in and out of numer­ous func­tions and spe­cial­ties.
    17. The peo­ple who pri­mar­i­ly get pro­mot­ed in the orga­ni­za­tion are:
      1. Peo­ple who can han­dle respon­si­bil­i­ty and who want it. We don’t use the word “pro­mo­tion”.
      2. Gen­er­al­ists. They must also be capa­ble peo­ple who are easy to work with.
      3. Those who know the most about their area of exper­tise and have demon­strat­ed their com­pe­tence.
      4. Those who have per­formed con­sis­tent­ly well in their func­tion for many years and have demon­strat­ed that they can seize author­i­ty and get things done.
    18. The com­pen­sa­tion sys­tem in the orga­ni­za­tion is most sim­i­lar to which of the fol­low­ing?
      1. Our com­pen­sa­tion sys­tem is high­ly struc­tured. The larg­er your role and func­tion in the orga­ni­za­tion, the more mon­ey you make.
      2. We empha­size fair and equi­table pay for all. We also empha­size the long-term per­spec­tive. We plow a lot of mon­ey back into the orga­ni­za­tion to ensure con­tin­ued growth and suc­cess, so per­son­al finan­cial com­pen­sa­tion tends to be sec­ondary to oth­er more impor­tant mat­ters.
      3. Our com­pen­sa­tion is high­ly indi­vid­ual and incen­tive ori­ent­ed. Unique­ly capa­ble peo­ple who are rec­og­nized experts can make a lot of mon­ey.
      4. Our com­pen­sa­tion is tied pri­mar­i­ly to team effort. If the whole orga­ni­za­tion does well, we share in the wealth. If the whole orga­ni­za­tion does poor­ly, we all sac­ri­fice.
    19. Which of the fol­low­ing best describes our orga­ni­za­tion’s pri­ma­ry approach in deal­ing with cus­tomers?
      1. We empha­size uplift­ing and enrich­ing our cus­tomers. We con­cen­trate on real­iz­ing the pos­si­bil­i­ties and poten­tial of our cus­tomers more ful­ly.
      2. We empha­size gain­ing the great­est mar­ket share that we can get. We would like to be the only game in town for our cus­tomers.
      3. We empha­size offer­ing supe­ri­or val­ue to our cus­tomers. We try to pro­vide state-of-the-art goods or ser­vices to our cus­tomers.
      4. Part­ner­ship. We team up with our cus­tomers. We want to be able to say “We did it togeth­er”.
    20. Which phrase best describes our orga­ni­za­tion?
      1. We are the best at what we do.”
      2. We believe in what we are doing, we make a com­mit­ment, and we real­ize unlim­it­ed poten­tial.”
      3. Unit­ed we stand, divid­ed we fall.”
      4. We are the biggest at what we do.”

Answers inter­pre­ta­tion:

Con­trol Col­lab­o­ra­tion Com­pe­tence Cul­ti­va­tion
1 a b c d
2 d b a c
3 b c d a
4 c a d b
5 a d b c
6 c d a b
7 d c b a
8 c a b d
9 b d a c
10 c b d a
11 a b c d
12 c d a b
13 c a b d
14 d b c a
15 c b a d
16 a c b d
17 b a c d
18 c d b a
19 c a d b
20 c d b a

The con­trol cul­ture

It empha­sizes strengths and devel­op­ment of strength. When suc­cess­ful, is sta­ble and strong.
It is very effec­tive at plan­ning.
It does a very good job at build­ing and imple­ment­ing sys­tems, poli­cies and pro­ce­dures.
It does well in spot­ting prob­lems and solv­ing them, because of vig­i­lance.
Is very good at get­ting pro­pri­etary mar­kets, tech­nolo­gies and process­es.
It pro­vides peo­ple with short and long term finan­cial sta­bil­i­ty.
It is order­ly and pre­dictable. Peo­ple feel safe.
Expec­ta­tion, roles and jobs are clear.
It empha­size on what’s work­ing.
It does­n’t tol­er­ate sur­pris­es.
Deci­sion mak­ing is con­ser­v­a­tive and high­ly real­is­tic.
Peo­ple gain high func­tion­al exper­tise in their roles.
It gets and keeps con­trol. If suc­cess­ful it dom­i­nates the mar­ket.
It is well-orga­nized.
Work and results are close­ly mon­i­tored.
Things are usu­al­ly clear-cut and unam­bigu­ous. Peo­ple know what is expect­ed from them.
When kept lean and mean, it is very effec­tive in mobi­liz­ing deci­sive actions.


In excess, it overem­pha­sizes try­ing to con­trol and dom­i­nate. This affects com­pet­i­tive behav­iour.
When things don’t go as planned, dis­trust and para­noia esca­late.
It may fos­ter too much com­pli­ance and a ten­den­cy to dis­tort infor­ma­tion as peo­ple don’t like to give boss­es bad news.
Author­i­tar­i­an lead­ers sti­fle dif­fer­ing judg­ments and get told what they want to hear.
Inno­va­tion is low. Inno­va­tion occurs more on finan­cial and func­tion­al aspects.
Is prone to treat peo­ple in an arro­gant man­ner.
It fos­ters peo­ple spe­cial­iza­tion.
It is imper­son­al. There is lit­tle fam­i­ly feel­ing.
It is hard to dis­agree and to voice con­flicts.
In excess, it does­n’t fos­ter col­lab­o­ra­tion between peo­ple.
Exces­sive con­trol leads to ignor­ing or dic­tat­ing to cus­tomers.
In excess, it takes out the fun of work­ing.
It ignores pos­si­bil­i­ties.
In excess, it becomes inflex­i­ble and rigid.
In excess, changes are quick­ly reject­ed. Sta­tus quo is pro­tect­ed.
If too intense, peo­ple feel manip­u­lat­ed and coerced.
In excess, peo­ple will del­e­gate respon­si­bil­i­ty upwards and will refrain from tak­ing respon­si­bil­i­ty for results.
Infor­ma­tion flow between func­tions is restrict­ed.
Good ideas from low­er lev­els are lost.
It is prone to bureau­cra­cy.
In excess, it tends to neglect exter­nal envi­ron­ment (com­peti­tors, mar­ket­place etc)

The col­lab­o­ra­tion cul­ture

It is nat­u­ral­ly effec­tive in build­ing diver­si­ty and con­flict.
Peo­ple ded­i­ca­tion is high.
Com­mu­ni­ca­tion is open, free and direct.
It is effec­tive in build­ing, devel­op­ing and uti­liz­ing teams.
Cohe­sion and coör­di­na­tion are preva­lent.
Peo­ple treat each oth­er in a sen­si­tive and care­ful man­ner.
When effec­tive, syn­er­gy is accom­plished inter­nal­ly and with cus­tomers.
Peo­ple work togeth­er and build on each oth­er’s skills and capa­bil­i­ties.
Peo­ple typ­i­cal­ly help one anoth­er out.
When suc­cess­ful, it does a good job in part­ner­ing with cus­tomers.
It is good in form­ing alliances with oth­er orga­ni­za­tions.
It is usu­al­ly egal­i­tar­i­an and demo­c­ra­t­ic in nature.
Trust is preva­lent.
It is ver­sa­tile and adap­tive.
It lis­tens to peo­ple.
Par­tic­i­pa­tive man­age­ment thrives.
Employ­ees often have a sense of per­son­al pride in the orga­ni­za­tion.
It fos­ters indi­vid­ual tal­ent and gen­er­al­ist capa­bil­i­ties.
Tasks and func­tions are inte­grat­ed.
Con­flict and dif­fer­ences are usu­al­ly well man­aged.
Mon­e­tary rewards are often gen­er­ous.


In excess, peo­ple become to friend­ly to each oth­er. They don’t hold each oth­er account­able. Per­for­mance is decreas­ing.
It is prone to short-term.
In excess, it becomes over­com­pro­mis­ing.
In extreme, it is prone to lais­sez-faire man­age­ment.
If care­less, it fails to rec­og­nize indi­vid­ual mer­it and fos­ters medi­oc­rity. Indi­vid­ual per­form­ers might lose moti­va­tion.
It inclines toward neglect­ing plan­ning.
It grav­i­tates toward group think­ing. Peo­ple might refrain from dis­sent­ing.
In times of dif­fi­cul­ty it has a hard time imple­ment­ing firm deci­sions.
It is at dis­ad­van­tage when com­pet­ing with ruth­less com­peti­tors.
With­out a clear focus, it gets over­com­mit­ted and goes off in too many direc­tions.
In excess, it is over­adap­tive and lets the envi­ron­ment influ­ence it.

The com­pe­tence cul­ture

It has high per­for­mance stan­dards.
It has high con­ti­nu­ity of ser­vice.
Insti­tu­tion­al wis­dom and its preser­va­tion are impor­tant.
It offers con­sid­er­able tech­ni­cal exper­tise.
Great achieve­ments come from this cul­ture — inno­va­tion, new tech­nol­o­gy and prod­ucts.
It is goal and results ori­ent­ed.
You can’t go wrong with its prod­ucts and/or ser­vices.
It is future ori­ent­ed and pos­si­bil­i­ty ori­ent­ed.
It is a cre­ative and excit­ing place of work.
It is vision­ary.
It puts much more on research and devel­op­ment than oth­er cul­tures.
It places a high val­ue on pro­fes­sion­al­ism.
It empha­size mer­it and demon­strat­ed per­for­mance.
Dis­ci­pline is present and empha­sized.
It is an effi­cient and pro­duc­tiv­i­ty ori­ent­ed cul­ture.
It val­ues crafts­man­ship.
Reward sys­tem is incen­tive ori­ent­ed.
It accords a great impor­tance to strat­e­gy and plan­ning.
Deci­sion mak­ing is thor­ough, con­sid­ered and sys­tem­at­ic.
An indi­vid­ual can stand out.
It is good at adapt­ing or chang­ing.
Ongo­ing train­ing and edu­ca­tion are preva­lent.


In excess, it leads to tech­ni­cal and expert tan­gents. The orga­ni­za­tion slips in the direc­tion that lack via­bil­i­ty or prag­ma­tism.
It los­es sight of human ele­ment and gets peo­ple for grant­ed. Per­son­al con­cerns are over­looked.
Val­ues and sub­jec­tive view are prone to be ignored.
Peo­ple may over­plan or over­an­a­lyze.
It is too emo­tion­al­ly con­trolled.
In excess, it gets so involved in the world of ideas that it fails to appre­ci­ate the real world. It risks con­fus­ing the mod­el with the real world.
Peo­ple feel that lead­er­ship is nev­er sat­is­fied and they always under­per­form.
It is too tough on peo­ple, too much the taskmas­ter.
Win­ning takes too much promi­nence.
In the extreme, win-lose behav­ior goes on.
It advis­es against col­lab­o­ra­tion because indi­vid­ual mer­it may be blurred.
If over­done, peo­ple feel over­ly pres­sured, over­worked and stressed out.
Capa­ble peo­ple who are not so good in com­mu­ni­ca­tion feel unap­pre­ci­at­ed.
In excess, makes peo­ple feel inse­cure.
Gen­er­al­ists are not encour­aged, nor devel­oped.

The cul­ti­va­tion cul­ture

It does a good job of build­ing com­mit­ment and ded­i­ca­tion among peo­ple.
It makes peo­ple feel cared for, nur­tured and spe­cial.
It offers great oppor­tu­ni­ties for per­son­al growth and devel­op­ment.
It val­ues peo­ple aspi­ra­tions and hopes.
It val­ues cre­ativ­i­ty.
When effec­tive, trust is abun­dant. Peo­ple feel accept­ed for who they are.
Res­o­lu­tion and deter­mi­na­tion come nat­u­ral­ly.
It val­ues and nour­ish­es diver­si­ty and dif­fer­ences.
When effec­tive, indi­vid­ual tal­ent is more uti­lized.
It is amenable to change and adap­ta­tion.
It is inclined to be social­ly respon­si­ble.
Peo­ple feel inspired and enlivened.
It strong­ly encour­ages self-expres­sion. Empow­er­ment is nat­ur­al.
It places a high val­ue on train­ing and edu­ca­tion.
Peo­ple can make mis­takes and not be pun­ished.
Opti­mism and pos­i­tivism pre­vail.
It can make great con­tri­bu­tions to peo­ple, com­mu­ni­ties and soci­ety.


In excess, it lacks direc­tion and focus.
In excess, too many things do not get fin­ished.
Tak­en to extreme, peo­ple become moral­is­tic and over­ly judg­men­tal.
It is prone to sweep­ing prob­lems under the rug.
It is prone to have a hard time in coör­di­nat­ing peo­ple and activ­i­ties.
It is prone toward play­ing favorites.
It is prone toward inef­fec­tive­ness when in com­pet­i­tive sit­u­a­tions, because is too com­mit­ted to good will.
Peo­ple try too hard for change and new­ness, chang­ing things when not nec­es­sary.
Hard facts may get ignored.
Peo­ple make too many delays because too many choic­es.
Peo­ple try too hard for per­fect solu­tions. Too much ide­al­ism.
It is prone to inef­fi­cien­cy.
Details are eas­i­ly over­looked.
In excess, peo­ple are too sen­ti­men­tal.
Peo­ple let inten­tion pre­vail too much, affect­ing per­for­mance and results.
Peo­ple feel they nev­er make real and last­ing con­tri­bu­tions.
Peo­ple get burned out and over­bur­dened because cul­ture might be too com­pelling.
Peo­ple are too ori­ent­ed against con­trol, result­ing in inat­ten­tive­ness to areas that need con­trol.
Some ideas and ini­tia­tive out­live their use­ful­ness, but are not dis­con­tin­ued.

The gen­e­sis of orga­ni­za­tion­al cul­ture

This is a fig­ure that explains the under­ly­ing pat­tern of the four cul­tures.

Strate­gic focus

Cul­ture Def­i­n­i­tion of suc­cess Way to suc­cess Approach with cus­tomers and con­stituents
 Con­trol Dom­i­nance, being the biggest Get and keep con­trol Con­trol­ling
The only game in town
 Col­lab­o­ra­tion Syn­er­gy Put a col­lec­tion of peo­ple togeth­er, build a team, engen­der their pos­i­tive rela­tion­ships and charg­ing them with ful­ly using one anoth­er as resources. Part­ner­ing, doing it togeth­er
Com­pe­tence Supe­ri­or­i­ty, being the best Cre­ate an orga­ni­za­tion that has the high­est lev­el of capa­bil­i­ty and com­pe­tence pos­si­ble and cap­i­tal­ize on that com­pe­tence. Pur­sue excel­lence. Offer the most supe­ri­or val­ue; noth­ing else com­pares, one of a kind, state of the art
Cul­ti­va­tion Fuller real­iza­tion of poten­tial growth Cre­ate and pro­vide the con­di­tions where­by peo­ple with­in the orga­ni­za­tion can grow, devel­op and strive to accom­plish the high­est order pur­pos­es pos­si­ble. Real­ize poten­tial and pos­si­bil­i­ty, ful­fill­ment

Lead­er­ship and man­age­ment focus

Cul­ture Lead­er­ship focus Man­age­ment style
 Con­trol Authoritative/directing
Main­tain pow­er
Shot caller
Pol­i­cy and pro­ce­dure ori­ent­ed
Task dri­ven
 Col­lab­o­ra­tion Team builder
First among equals
Trust builder
Com­mit­ment builder
Ensure uti­liza­tion of diver­si­ty
Bring in the right mix of tal­ent
Peo­ple dri­ven
Com­pe­tence Stan­dard set­ter
Archi­tect of sys­tem
Assertive, con­vinc­ing per­suad­er
Set exact­ing expec­ta­tions
Stretch people/Push lim­its
Recruit the most com­pe­tent
Empha­size what’s pos­si­ble
Chal­lenge sub­or­di­nates
Task dri­ven
MBO/MBR in nature
Hard to sat­is­fy
Cul­ti­va­tion Cat­a­lyst
Empower/enable peo­ple
Com­mit­ment builder
Inspire/enliven peo­ple
Mak­er of mean­ing
Appeal to com­mon vision
Fos­ter self-expres­sion
Peo­ple dri­ve

Struc­tur­al focus

Cul­ture Orga­ni­za­tion­al form Role of the employ­ee Task focus
 Con­trol Hier­ar­chy Com­pli­ance
Adhere to role require­ments
Serve the func­tion­al pur­suit of the orga­ni­za­tion
Be real­is­tic
Be use­ful
Fol­low direc­tives
Indi­vid­u­als stay with­in a func­tion
Spe­cial­ties chan­neled into ser­vice of func­tions
 Col­lab­o­ra­tion Group, clus­ter Col­lab­o­rate. Be a team play­er
Con­tribute to the whole effort
Uti­lize oth­ers as resources
Hon­or diver­si­ty
Com­mit­ment to the whole orga­ni­za­tion
Iden­ti­fy with the orga­ni­za­tion
Take ini­tia­tive
Indi­vid­u­als serve in numer­ous func­tions
Com­pe­tence Matrix, adhoc­ra­cy Be the best at what you do
Be an expert
Advance knowl­edge
Be cre­ative
Be a pos­si­bi­liz­er
Serve the con­cep­tu­al and the­o­ret­i­cal pur­suit of the com­pa­ny
Func­tion inde­pen­dent­ly
Demon­strate com­pe­tence
Indi­vid­u­als stay in tech­ni­cal spe­cial­ty
Func­tions chan­neled in ser­vice of spe­cial­ties
Cul­ti­va­tion Wheel-like, cir­cu­lar, lat­tice Be cre­ative
Express your­self
Be will­ing to change, grow and devel­op
Be a pos­si­bi­liz­er
Be all you can be
Real­ize your poten­tial
Believe in what the orga­ni­za­tion believes
Be com­mit­ted
Be ver­sa­tile
All three above
Indi­vid­u­als do all three

Pow­er focus

Cul­ture Nature of pow­er Approach to deci­sion mak­ing Approach to man­ag­ing change
 Con­trol Role, posi­tion, title Very thourough
Push for opti­mal solu­tion
Push for cer­tain­i­ty
Cause to effect
For­mu­la ori­ent­ed
Very objec­tive
Man­date it
Resis­tance to change
 Col­lab­o­ra­tion Rela­tion­ships Par­tic­i­pa­tive
Con­sen­sus ori­ent­ed
Peo­ple dri­ven
Team calls for change
Open to change
Com­pe­tence Exper­tise Very ana­lyt­i­cal
Prin­ci­ple and law ori­ent­ed
For­mu­la ori­ent­ed
For­mal log­ic
Achieve­ment goals dri­ve change
Open to change
Cul­ti­va­tion Charis­ma Pur­po­sive
Peo­ple dri­ven
Very sub­jec­tive
Embrace/assume change
Change is auto­mat­ic

Rela­tion­ship focus

Cul­ture Key norms Cli­mate
 Con­trol Cer­tain­ty
No non­sense
Air of secre­cy
Steady, reg­u­lat­ed pace
 Col­lab­o­ra­tion Syn­er­gy
Unit­ed we stand, divid­ed we fall
Peo­ple inter­ac­tion
Work hard/play hard
Can do
Busy pace
Open/free and easy
Live­ly give-and-take
Com­pe­tence Pro­fes­sion­al­ism
Pur­sue excel­lence
Con­tin­u­ous improve­ment
Com­pe­ti­tion for its own sake
Don’t rest on your lau­rels
Intense pace
Cul­ti­va­tion Growth and devel­op­ment
Let things evolve
Free­dom to make mis­takes
Shoot for the stars
Val­ues are para­mount
Relaxed and fast paced

Orga­ni­za­tion­al con­tent: what orga­ni­za­tion pays atten­tion to

In an actu­al­i­ty cul­ture the orga­ni­za­tion pays atten­tion to:

  • Con­crete, tan­gi­ble real­i­ty
  • Facts
  • What occurred in the past and what occurs now
  • Actu­al expe­ri­ence
  • What can be seen, heard, touched, weight­ed and mea­sured
  • Prac­ti­cal­i­ty and util­i­ty

The con­tent of a pos­si­bil­i­ty cul­ture is:

  • Insights
  • Imag­ined alter­na­tives
  • What might occur in the future
  • Ideals/beliefs
  • Aspi­ra­tions
  • Nov­el­ty
  • Innovation/creativity
  • The­o­ret­i­cal con­cepts and frame­works
  • Under­ly­ing mean­ing or rela­tion­ships

Orga­ni­za­tion­al process: how the orga­ni­za­tion decides

The process of imper­son­al cul­tures is:

  • Detached
  • Sys­tem, pol­i­cy and pro­ce­dure ori­ent­ed
  • For­mu­la ori­ent­ed
  • Sci­en­tif­ic
  • Objec­tive
  • Prin­ci­ple and law ori­ent­ed
  • For­mal
  • Emo­tion­less
  • Pre­scrip­tive

The process of per­son­al cul­tures is:

  • Peo­ple dri­ven
  • Organic/evolutionary/dynamic
  • Par­tic­i­pa­tive
  • Sub­jec­tive
  • Infor­mal
  • Open-end­ed
  • Impor­tant-to-peo­ple ori­ent­ed
  • Emo­tion­al

Cul­tur­al oppo­sites

Com­pe­tence vs Col­lab­o­ra­tive

Con­trol vs Cul­ti­va­tion

A frame­work for devel­op­ing your orga­ni­za­tion

Step 1: Deter­mine your core cul­ture
Use the ques­tion­naire.

Step 2: Cap­ture your cul­ture strengths
Use strengths and weak­ness­es of each cul­ture.

Step 3: Cre­ate an analy­sis group
Gath­er 8–10 peo­ple who know the orga­ni­za­tion well and who typ­i­fy its struc­ture. Ask this group to sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly ana­lyze the orga­ni­za­tion ele­ments.

Step 4: Deter­mine your core cul­ture’s lev­el of inte­gra­tion
Answer the fol­low­ing ques­tions:

  • Where are the ele­ments of your orga­ni­za­tion incon­sis­tent, giv­en the nature of your core cul­ture?
  • Where do you behave in a man­ner that is incon­gru­ent with your core cul­ture?
  • Where do we give our­selves mixed mes­sages? We are this type of core cul­ture, but what are we demand­ing from peo­ple that is incon­gru­ent with our core cul­ture?
  • Where do we belie the nature of our core cul­ture?
  • Where are we at cross-pur­pos­es with one anoth­er? Where are we unco­or­di­nat­ed?
  • Are we aligned with our nat­ur­al and auto­mat­ic def­i­n­i­tion of suc­cess?
  • Do we have a sub­sidiary that has a dif­fer­ent core cul­ture from ours? Are we try­ing to make it into our own image?
  • Where are we try­ing to be all things to all peo­ple? Where are we buy­ing into fads that are real­ly ele­ments of anoth­er core cul­ture? Are we try­ing to insti­tute qual­i­ties, approach­es or process­es that are incon­gru­ent with our core cul­ture, but which every­one is tout­ing as the best thing to do?
  • Where do we lack inter­nal har­mo­ny?
  • Where are we try­ing to have our orga­ni­za­tion­al cake and eat it too?
  • Where do we keep going on tan­gents?
  • Where do we lose con­cen­tra­tion?
  • What is present with­in our orga­ni­za­tion that does not fit? What do we have that does­n’t belong? What keeps get­ting in the way of our core cul­ture?
  • Giv­en our core cul­ture, is our way with cus­tomers and con­stituents the same or par­al­lel to our way inter­nal­ly?

Step 5: Deter­mine your core cul­ture’s degree of whole­ness
Answer the fol­low­ing ques­tions:

  • Giv­en our core cul­ture, where are we incom­plete?
  • What is miss­ing that belongs in our core cul­ture?
  • What don;t we have oper­at­ing that is need­ed in our core cul­ture?
  • What more do we need to do?
  • Where do we lack uni­ty? What has been bro­ken apart that needs to be put back togeth­er?
  • What is dam­aged or in dis­re­pair? What is dis­as­sem­bled that needs to be reassem­bled?
  • What are we omit­ting out­right or decid­ing not to do?
  • What knowl­edge, skills, atti­tudes and moti­va­tions do we need?
  • Giv­en our cul­ture, what is unfin­ished?

Step 6: Deter­mine your core cul­ture’s degree of bal­ance
Answer the fol­low­ing ques­tions:

  • Giv­en our core cul­ture, where are we out of bal­ance?
  • Where are we oper­at­ing in excess? Where are we over­do­ing things? Where have we allowed things to go too far?
  • What are unnec­es­sar­i­ly overem­pha­siz­ing or under­em­pha­siz­ing?
  • Where are we exag­ger­at­ing our core cul­ture’s nat­ur­al strengths?
  • Giv­en our core cul­ture, where are we too greedy?
  • Where are we tak­ing short­cuts?
  • What spe­cif­ic ele­ments from oth­er core cul­tures do we need to incor­po­rate into our orga­ni­za­tion to be in bal­ance and more effec­tive?
  • Where are we refus­ing to allow nat­ur­al and nec­es­sary ten­sions in our orga­ni­za­tion to con­tin­ue? Where are we impos­ing one way of doing some­thing when we should be man­ag­ing in more than one way?
  • Where do we lack sta­bil­i­ty?
  • Where we are out of pro­por­tion?
  • Where do we lack reci­procity?
  • Where have we lost our adapt­abil­i­ty?
  • Where do we need more equal­i­ty?

Genre: Change man­age­ment, Man­age­ment

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