MAGNA Culture Assessment series.
I am starting “MAGNA Culture Assessment Series” from Jan 2021, where I’ll share the insights on Organisation Culture and its role to the success or failure of a business.
The first topic in this series is why assessing culture is essential?
Organizational Development guru, Edgar Schein, defines organisational culture as “basic assumptions and beliefs shared by members of an organisation, that operate unconsciously and define in a taken for granted fashion an organisation’s view of itself and its environment”.
It is worth noticing the words “basic assumptions and beliefs shared by people” as truly it manifests into behaviours without being consciously aware of it. These assumptions are so deeply ingrained in cultural traits that often they are taken for granted, making organisation Culture a complex concept to understand.
The best thing to demystify the concept is to perceive organisation culture as an ICEBERG with some apparent elements on the surface, just a tiny portion. The significant part of cultural traits sits underneath; these elements are the norms, shared beliefs and assumptions, driving day-to-day behaviours. It is the hidden aspects of cultural traits that formulate culture significantly and need to be understood fully.
Once we know the real triggers behind behaviours, i.e., the underlying assumptions that prompt behaviours, we can better address the gaps that exist between business strategy and existing culture and improve it for improved results; That’s why we recommend assessing culture and digging deeper to explore and identify the underlying causes that trigger a particular pattern of behaviours.
Assessing cultures gives answers to many pertinent questions around who holds power in the organisation, why the decisions are made in a certain way, who calls the shots, what language is spoken and how it impacts behaviours, what unconscious biases influence behaviours and make a collective cultural identity that outsiders perceive as who we’re as an organisation.
Culture assessment also helps you understand the reasons behind missed targets, maximising benefits of tech implementation, perhaps a merger or acquisitions, restructuring or adhering to new industry regulations.
Why Culture Matters?
Culture is like the tendons and ligaments that hold the body together and allow it to be healthy and functional. In the same context, Culture for organizations allows it to execute business strategy and meet business targets.
A distinctive organization culture can boost employee engagement, create competitive advantage, predict financial outcomes, and promote ethical behaviour and social change.
Having a strong culture supporting employees matters more than ever to help organizations be resilient during uncertainty and periods of change.
In a recent large study conducted by Glassdoor, more than half of employees said that Culture impacts their job satisfaction more than salary, and 77% said that they consider a company’s Culture when applying for a job.
When it comes to financial performance, research has found that a good culture is associated with an 18% higher share price over five years compared with companies where employees are less satisfied with the Culture.
Another leading research has found that 92% of CEOs and CFOs think improving Culture would improve their company’s financial value.
Improving Culture not only attracts and retains employees and increases financial value — it also positively impacts society, which depends on its institutions to behave with integrity, respect, inclusivity, and other desirable values.
How does the MAGNA Culture Assessment™ work?
For the MAGNA Culture Assessment, we regard company culture in terms of the definition of organizational culture put forth by the industry expert Edgar Shien “basic assumptions and beliefs shared by members of the organisation” – Our Assessment analyses the behavioural, physical and symbolic manifestations of a Culture informed by taken for granted assumptions in the organisation. These taken for granted assumptions contribute to the set of core beliefs, also called a paradigm.
Through our assessment work, we dig deeper into the paradigm that allows us to understand the emotional connections associated with taken for granted assumptions and how aligned or misaligned those assumptions are with the execution of aspired strategy and espoused business values.
To summarize, MAGNA Culture Assessment ™ is the first step to knowing your organisation’s cultural identity and improving it measurably with the following outcomes.
- Identify underlying assumptions behind the prevalent behaviours in your organisation.
- Provide your organisation’s core belief paradigm that manifests into behaviours with emotional connections.
- Understand which cultural traits and assumptions are helping performance, and which are hindering.
- Assess how well your organisation is aligned for delivering a strategy or a transformation programme.
- Understand variations across the organisation so you can focus attention on the right areas, and work towards full cultural alignment.
- Provide a comprehensive report highlighting the cultural blueprint of your organisation/team to know where the gaps are and what are underlying causes to those gaps. The assessment insights act as a baseline measurement for intervention to improve.
Ready to measurably improve your culture?