Culture Construction

"In most organizational change efforts, it is much easier to draw on the strengths of the culture than to overcome the constraints by changing the culture.” — Edgar Schein

“Interestingly, water in a bottle never knows that the bottle gives him the shape, same like those people in the system!!” — G.S. Sreekiran

"If behavior were controlled by the logical mind, then the world would only need one self-help book." — Karen Phelan

What is your real culture?

While most companies have a set of values and a mission statement of what they want to be, often the reality of daily corporate life is very different. Conducting surveys and assessments to determine your organization's personality often does not affect how your organization behaves. While insightful, they rarely prompt meaningful actions.

This is because of the knowing/doing gap. Human behavior is not determined by logic and reasoning. Most of our behavior is subconscious, like driving a car and brushing our teeth. The way we listen in meetings, react to unexpected events, and respond to our colleagues' feedback all have their roots in our subconscious habits. Therefore it is very difficult to reason, communicate, and explain your way to new behaviors.

Steve Jobs recognized that these habits determined the culture of the organization. He observed that innovation occurred when Apple employees had chance encounters and exchanged ideas. For that reason, when he built the Cupertino buildings, he designed the traffic flow and common areas to maximize employees' mingling.

Constructing a culture through daily habits

Meetings, conference calls, emails and texts consume the majority of an employee's day. How people behave in these situations determines your culture, not the value statement on the wall. Fortunately, you don't have to design a new building. Just changing a few simple habits can lead to major organizational culture changes.

Do you want a culture of learning? Then you need make feedback and reflection part of your every day. For instance, end every meeting with what went well and what didn't and offer weekly razzie prizes for the worst emails. Do you want to be more action-oriented? Phrase questions and concerns as action steps to investigate further. What about being more innovative? Create opportunities for employees to mingle and use creativity aids in your meetings, like our Act like a Leader cards.

By analyzing the daily habits of your organization and replacing them with the ones you want, you can construct a desired culture quickly and easily.

Our Culture Construction Method:
Step 1: Ethnographic Studies

Our Culture Construction Method:
Step 2: New Behavior Workshops

Our Culture Construction Method:
Step 3: Rollout and Feedback

Our Culture Construction Method:
Step 4: Plan Future Steps

Ethnographic Studies of Habits

We observe meetings, conference calls, and daily interactions to determine the common behaviors that make the existing culture. We also note behavioral norms.

New Behavior Workshops

We compare the results of step 1 to where the organization wants to be and hold workshops to determine the new habits and norms to implement.

Rollout and Feedback

Sometimes called trial and error, habits are introduced one or two at a time, because trying things out and learning from them is the best way to adapt and innovate.

Plans forward

Based on the results of steps 2 and 3, we develop a list of potential habits and behaviors to experiment with in the future.

Our Services

We focus on the areas that have the biggest impact on organizations. Our solutions are simple, intuitive, and often fun to implement because they utilize people's natural strengths.