Changing Organizational Culture – why is it so difficult?
Clearly before you go about changing the Company culture you need to be equipped with enough
data on 2 distinctive stages of your Culture,
1. The Current state of the Culture
2. The Target state of the Culture
If one goes around the company and asks people at random to describe their organizational culture,
one would get the description from the lens of the individual who perceives the culture based on the
vantage point s/he is located on. Therefore, one might get as many descriptions as the number of
people one asks. While these descriptions collectively might give us a sense of the overall culture or
at least some characteristics of the same, clearly one cannot design a transformation plan based on
such unstructured perceived descriptions of a company culture. What we need is a measurement
against a well-defined model which is validated by scientific research.
We at HI use HI’s 8 dimensional Multi-Focus Model to measure Current State of Culture by
administering 70 + questions to the target audience and running analytics on the answer pattern of
the group. The design of the questions and the analyses of the data ensure that we get unbiased
measure of the current culture. Apart from the scores of the current culture in each dimension of
the model ( https://hi.hofstede-insights.com/multi-focus-model) , the scan report provides a host of insights into multiple aspects such as Cultural identity, trust & security level in the company, acceptance of leadership style, level of
engagement of people, ease / difficult to change etc.
While getting the current state of the Company culture is obtained by measuring responses from the
target group through a well researched set of questionnaire, determining the target culture is more
Why ? Because to get to determine what kind of Culture we should have in our organization, there
must be clear understanding of the purpose, vision, strategic intent and values of the organization.
The organizational culture without the context of its business goals and the environment in which it
operates or interacts with, does not serve the purpose of lending itself to be the competitive
advantage of the company, nor does it become an enabler of the realization of its strategic goals and
Culture building starts at the top. And Culture needs to be aligned with Business Strategy. The
process, therefore, of determining what Culture an organization should aim for, starts with
clarification and reflection of its purpose and business strategy. The same is achieved through a
facilitated workshop with the leadership team who are systematically led to clarify the business
strategy and translate the same to target organization culture.
Armed with both Current Actual Culture and the Target Optimal Culture we are now in a position to
do the Gap analysis and identify Change areas the organization needs to focus on. HI methodology
breaks down broad change areas to actionable change levers that are mapped on to different layers
of the Culture onion we spoke about in the 1st part of this article.
In summary as difficult as it may sound, Culture change process can be broken into more easily
understood steps and the same may be realized step by step.