Management teams and organisations are coping with a lot of problems. Some examples are lack of profitability, underperformance of teams or individuals, people being stressed, not focused, not in the right role or demotivated. Other problems include misalignment of the strategy with the market, trends or needs, a lack of direction and priority, or lack of the right mindset—to name but a few.
Often I work with management teams and the top problems are silos working separately from each other, people not working effectively together, a lack of taking responsibility, staff being in a complaining mode, victimhood, passiveness, blaming or any other negative mindset.
What many companies in reaction to these problems is to put out various different questionnaires such as an employee engagement survey, a periodic medical scan of the team, a 360° survey for managers, or a strength-finder survey for individual talent development.
Peter Drucker once said: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”. This refers to culture being the key to success. Yet culture is often viewed as a secondary priority, or even worse, bottom of the priority pile. Sometimes culture is viewed as something that “HR needs to take care of”, as if this is something with people that is separate from strategy. Another pitfall is that there is a general underestimation of how pivotal culture can be in determining success (or otherwise) in teams, organisations and transformations.
At a time where change is continuous and companies and teams need to be more resilient than ever, a cultural scan has become an essential for success.
A good cultural scan goes beyond an employee engagement survey, a regular 360° survey for managers and so on. In many cases a scan is complementary, but a scan is much better when it comes to having an insight on the health and performance of your company.
Some differences with most existing questionnaires are that a good organisational culture scan has the following characteristics:
- It is linked to the strategy of the company and therefore measures not only actual and/or desired culture but compares it to the optimum and links it to the performance of the strategy.
- An extensive organisational culture scan has a holistic approach. This means that the results from the scan for the organisation is linked to the scan for the individual managers, to the individuals and thus to the strategy. With a good organisational scan you can get detailed reports on 360-degree feedback linked to not only the same dimensions as the organisational scan, but you can have individual strengths and development areas related to the culture scan, and assess the actual and optimum culture.
- A great organisational scan not only helps the management team, but also gives insights to the individual leaders and the individual team members as well as on the organisation as a whole. This means that everyone can profit from it and develop in a more successful way.
We are working a lot with different types of companies looking for the right interventions, tools and instruments to develop their companies, teams and individuals. The successful ones have invested in our organisational scan, even on top of existing questionnaires that they had. This is because, for the first time, we offered them a holistic approach and clear and detailed reports generated by the system on the basis of various inputs from the organisation. The inputs used are an extensive questionnaire measuring actual and desired culture, management team sessions generating the optimum culture in the same dimensions related to the strategy for that particular company, and individual 360-degree questionnaires to determine what are known as executive matches. These in turn generate reports and advice on strengths and weaknesses specifically for that company strategy, culture, both actual/desired as well as optimum culture.
Teams and organisations are facing challenging times. With trade wars, Brexit and the coronavirus on top of intense, rapid and intrusive existing technological and organisational changes, teams and companies need more regularly updated health and performance checks. Culture is one of the most underestimated and key leverage points in executing a strategy with motivated people, and will become even more important in the future.
Where technology, economy and the political environment require changes more frequently, companies that are successful are those that recognise that investing in health and performance scans to get a very precise x-ray is a necessity for them to manage change.
We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.
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