Organisational Culture Discovery

A culture discovery builds a clear, unambiguous picture of your current culture – including its characteristics, strengths, influences and potential obstacles.

Our culture discovery will help you build a clear picture of your current culture – so you can find the most effective changes you need to make for your growth and success. We use a whole toolbox of methods to take a good look at your current organisational culture, spot areas where you could do even better, and give you practical insight you can really use.

What is Culture Discovery?

A culture discovery is an exploratory process that involves identifying, understanding, and quantifying the unique culture that exists within your organisation. Understanding your organisational culture can be a hugely valuable tool in creating change, driving continuous improvement and increasing employee engagement. Our discovery process is not a superficial glance, but rather a considered and detailed exploration into the essence, motivations and underlying drivers of your organisation’s culture.

This exploration delves deep into the core values that your organisation upholds, the beliefs that guide its decisions, the behaviours that are encouraged and rewarded, and the attitudes that are prevalent among its members. These elements collectively define the identity of your organisation and shape the way it operates.

The primary objective of a culture discovery is to gain a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of your organisation’s current culture. This understanding is not merely about knowing what the culture is, but also about appreciating its nuances, its strengths, and its potential weaknesses.

More importantly, it is designed to look at how your current culture, or how you do things, is helping or hindering your underlying mission.

Once this understanding is achieved, the next step in the process is to identify areas within your organisation’s culture that could benefit from improvement. This could involve aspects of the culture that are not aligned with the organisation’s goals, or areas where the culture could be enhanced to better support the organisation’s mission and vision. This can also be thought of as the difference between the exposed values (what we say we are) versus the lived experience (what is actually feels like).

Finally, the culture change discovery process involves developing effective and practical strategies for implementing positive change within the organisation’s culture. This is not about imposing a new culture, but rather about nurturing and evolving the existing culture in a way that it becomes more supportive of the organisation’s objectives and more conducive to its success.

A culture discovery is a comprehensive, deep, and strategic process that helps an organisation understand its culture, identify areas for improvement, and develop strategies for positive change. It is a critical step in ensuring that an organisation’s culture is aligned with its goals and is supportive of its success.

Benefits of a Culture Discovery process

A culture discovery is invaluable to an organisation looking to shift its culture as it provides a clear understanding of the current landscape, which is crucial for strategic planning and decision-making. It helps identify cultural misalignments that may be hindering the organisation’s progress and provides insights on how to realign the culture with the organisation’s mission. Furthermore, because of how we conduct the discovery process, it fosters a sense of unity and engagement among employees as they collectively participate in shaping the organisation’s culture.

5 key reasons you should conduct an organisational culture discovery

  1. It provides a roadmap for change: By identifying areas of improvement, Culture Discovery gives you a clear direction for implementing change.
  2. It enhances employee engagement: When employees are involved in the Culture Discovery process, they feel more invested in the organisation and its culture.
  3. It promotes consistency: Understanding your culture helps ensure that it is applied consistently across all levels and departments of the organisation.
  4. It fosters a culture of continuous improvement: By regularly conducting Culture Discovery, you encourage a mindset of constant evolution and refinement within your organisation.
  5. It strengthens the organisation’s identity: Understanding and aligning with your culture reinforces the unique identity of your organisation, setting it apart from competitors.

How does it work?

Build a clear, unambiguous picture of your current culture – including its characteristics, strengths, influences and potential obstacles.

Step 1: Culture Exploration – This involves conducting surveys, interviews, and focus groups to gather data about the current state of your organisation’s culture. For example, you might use a survey to gauge employee satisfaction and understand their perceptions of the company culture.

Step 2: Insight Analysis – Our team of experts will analyse the collected data to identify patterns, trends, and areas of concern. For instance, if the data shows a high level of dissatisfaction among employees in a particular department, this could indicate a problem with leadership or communication in that area.

Step 3: Reporting and Recommendations – We will provide a detailed report outlining our findings and suggesting actionable steps for improvement. This could include recommendations for leadership training, changes in communication strategies, or initiatives to promote a more inclusive culture.

Our service goes beyond simply identifying your organisation’s culture. It involves understanding its unique aspects, enhancing positives, and ensuring consistency across all levels and departments. This holistic approach to culture is about recognising, understanding, strengthening, and uniformly applying it throughout your organisation.

Principles we follow in our Culture Discovery

1. A system thinking approach

System thinking can be incredibly beneficial in understanding organisational culture as it allows for a holistic view of the organisation. It takes into account the interrelationships and interdependencies between different elements of the culture, rather than viewing them in isolation. This approach helps in identifying patterns and trends, understanding the underlying causes of cultural issues, and designing effective strategies for cultural transformation.

System thinking also promotes adaptability. By understanding the interconnectedness of different cultural elements, organisations can better anticipate and respond to changes. This adaptability is crucial in today’s fast-paced business environment, where organisations must be able to pivot quickly to stay competitive. Furthermore, system thinking encourages a culture of learning and innovation. By continually examining and reevaluating the culture, organisations can identify opportunities for innovation and growth.

2. Iterative and continuous

An iterative, continuous improvement approach to culture discovery is beneficial as it allows for ongoing refinement and enhancement of the organisational culture. It acknowledges that culture is not static, but rather a dynamic entity that evolves over time. This approach enables organisations to keep pace with changes, continually reassess their culture, and make necessary adjustments. It also fosters a culture of continuous learning and improvement, encouraging organisations to strive for excellence in their cultural practices.

3. A process that creates its own learning

One way to facilitate employee growth and learning during the culture discovery process is by incorporating skill-building activities and workshops. These can be designed to align with the identified cultural aspects and can help employees develop the necessary skills to thrive in the evolving culture. Additionally, creating tools such as self-assessment questionnaires, feedback mechanisms, and digital learning platforms can provide employees with resources to continuously learn and adapt. These tools can be used even after the culture discovery process, ensuring sustained learning and growth.

4. Foster collaboration and deeper organisational cohesion

Our approach to Culture Discovery is designed to foster collaboration by involving all members of the organization, from top management to frontline employees. It encourages innovation by providing a platform for individuals to share their unique insights and perspectives, thereby contributing to a richer understanding of the organization’s culture. Moreover, this process promotes deeper organisational cohesion by aligning everyone with the core values and beliefs of the organisation, creating a shared sense of identity and purpose.

5. Bringing your customers into the conversation

Our approach to Culture Discovery also includes your customers. We believe that customers are a vital part of your organization’s culture, as they interact with it regularly and are directly affected by it. By engaging your customers in the process, we can gain valuable insights into how they perceive your culture, what they value about it, and where they see room for improvement. This external perspective can provide a fresh viewpoint and can help to identify areas of your culture that may be overlooked from within the organisation.

Outcomes and Impact of a Culture Discovery

A culture change discovery can provide a comprehensive analysis of your organisation’s existing culture, highlighting the aspects that are contributing positively to your mission. It can also pinpoint the cultural elements that may be hindering progress, such as communication gaps, leadership styles, or entrenched behaviors. With this understanding, you can make informed decisions about the changes needed to align your culture with your strategic goals.

Understanding your existing organisational culture can have benefits that apply across your whole organisation, and help you align to your strategy and mission.

1. Enhanced Employee Engagement

  • Understanding culture helps in creating programs and policies that resonate with employees, leading to increased engagement and productivity.

2. Effective Change Management

  • A clear grasp of the current culture allows leaders to tailor change initiatives in a way that aligns with employee values and behaviors, making transitions smoother.

3. Strategic Decision Making

  • Decisions that take into account the existing cultural norms are more likely to be accepted and supported by the workforce, thus aiding in strategy implementation.

4. Talent Attraction and Retention

  • A culture that is well-understood and clearly communicated attracts like-minded individuals and helps retain employees who share the organization’s values.

5. Improved Communication

  • Recognizing the nuances of the organizational culture can lead to better communication strategies, fostering clearer understanding and collaboration.

6. Conflict Resolution

  • When the underlying cultural dynamics are known, it becomes easier to address and resolve conflicts in a manner that is consistent with the company’s ethos.

7. Customer Satisfaction

  • A strong internal culture that aligns with the strategic goals often reflects in better customer service and higher satisfaction as employees are more aligned with the mission.

8. Innovation and Adaptability

  • Understanding culture can identify areas where creativity is supported, as well as areas that need more flexibility, aiding the company in adapting and innovating.

9. Performance Management

  • Culture awareness assists in creating performance metrics that are not only results-focused but also culture-aligned, leading to more holistic assessments.

10. Brand Reputation

  • The internal culture of an organization often mirrors externally. Understanding and managing it effectively can enhance the company’s reputation and brand image.

Our approach to exploring your organisational culture

We’re model agnostic: meaning we’re not wedded to a specific culture model or tied down to our own proprietary 12 step approach. Instead, we work with you to define exactly what the outcomes should look like then find the approach that best suits. 

We’re a strong believer in iteration: often, the worst thing you can do is spend 3 months on a discovery process, only to find the landscape changed and employees disengaged by the end of the process. We believe in a more iterative approach – we’ll explore, uncover key truths, work with you to fix or address them, then go back to exploring. This way people see the positive impact more quickly, and you can stop when you feel you’ve reached the right place. 

We want to handover to you: no offence, but we don’t want to be around forever. That’s why our approach is designed to empower you with the tools and approaches to continue long after we’ve left. We don’t believe in trapping you in endless consultancy contracts, and would far rather empower your people with the tools they need.

We believe in small steps forward: real, authentic and sustainable culture change is all about the small steps forward, rather than big firework displays. While you may need a jolt of energy to kickstart chase, the real magic comes in the weeks and months after. Our approach is designed with that in mind, focusing on the crucial steps towards making a change.

Think we could help with your culture discovery?

If you’re thinking about a culture discovery and would like to explore some option then arrange a relaxed, hassle-free virtual chat. We can see if we can help and if we fit. 

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