Cultural Assessment

The purpose of a cultural assessment is to determine whether your culture supports and drives the actions that will result in your goals.

Organizational culture refers to deeply-rooted beliefs, values, and norms shared by the members of an organization. While these beliefs and values are not immediately visible, they are reflected in the actions people take, and they shape what is possible for the organization.

Elements such as policies and procedures and compensation structures are important expressions of the overall culture and affected by it, but are not the culture per se. Organizational culture is also not an espoused list of values developed by a group of individuals off-site.

What leaders espouse and organizations strive to be can differ from what plays out in the areas of communication, leadership and workplace norms. Opportunities revealed by cultural assessments include:

  • Clarification of roles where there is confusion or conflict;
  • Reconfiguration of structures and processes to support strategy;
  • Training in commitment-based communication;
  • Executive coaching to build collaboration.

A cultural assessment enables a company to study inconsistencies between the current culture and the culture to which it is committed.

This is done through a series of confidential interviews with the senior leadership team and a cross-section of employees in the organization. Dorrier Underwood analyzes and consolidates the data into a report that is presented for discussion with the senior executive and/or senior leadership team.

The areas of the assessment include leadership, communication, accountability, direction, vision, results, teamwork and team alignment, and focus/ clarity/ priorities. Knowing the gaps between organizational ideals and practices is what lays the foundation for truing up the vision and generating commitment to it. At this stage, leadership and communication become critical to transformation, and are addressed through a paradigm known as commitment-based management, including an innovative approach to process design.


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