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Confounded by culture? Explore and lead

Confounded by culture? Explore and lead

Working with the unseen and the slippery: leveraging organisational culture to enable commercial success

Do you ever read your staff survey results and think: I haven’t a clue what is really going on here?

Hidden dynamics and unspoken things are usually the key drivers of organisational culture. Generalised culture surveys often don’t really help us to understand where the leadership effort should go.

Our engagement results in employee surveys are better than the country benchmark!

So why are we not delivering on business targets then?

To work out what actions might be needed, our consultants invite members of organisations to explore their own organisational culture. We find that improved cultural understanding provides an essential foundation for more focused work on goals such as:

  • improving employee experience;
  • leadership development;
  • preparing for structural change, mergers and transformation; 
  • and improving collaboration within the organisation.

How we can help

We can help you to collect and unpack the essential data describing your organisational culture, find a framework to explore it and support you through the process.

The exploration process is done collectively in the organisation, involving groups of employees. Typically we suggest you include managers and employees working at varying levels from different units and functions.

This is not about us teaching you – rather we will journey with you, being curious and learning together in a safe but also challenging space.

Why embark on this journey into your organisational culture?

Reveal the hidden

The culture exploration process helps to identify hidden features, phenomena and dynamics: all the  factors that help or hinder efficiency, collaboration. Identified and agreed-upon cultural challenges can enable explorers to agree on actions and interventions where things need to be changed.

Achieve your commercial goals

This process helps our clients to be more aware about the challenges and opportunities that culture may hold for their organisation. Knowing those, teams and leaders can become more efficient in tackling organisational and commercial goals. 

‘We want to empower our clients to focus their efforts on defined goals rather than on vague and intangible work on culture’ says Milda Autukaitė, organisational psychologist and Principal Consultant at TIHR.

Read the cultural signs

This process develops competence amongst leaders and colleagues to observe and “read” the culture. This is a crucial competence for leaders, so that they can lead efficiently; and for all team members, so that they can collaborate, take up their professional roles and achieve their goals.

How are you?

Fine!

Do you have any feedback on how we are doing as a team?

... uhnnn ...

Connect with team dynamics

Operating in teams throughout the exploration of culture usually contributes to improved relationships among group members and enables the group to work with emerging team dynamics.

How we work

  • Your goals and challenges will shape the design of the exploration process;
  • We devise a series of different events, which usually include workshops to introduce participants to the main concepts and principles we will use, sometimes in separate groups;
  • Participants will be supported through three stages: data collection, reviewing and making sense;
  • After the exploration phase, depending on the overall agreed goal and outcome, the organisation is supported to build an action plan and design interventions to achieve change.

Is this for you?

We usually work with senior leaders and managers, teams (varying units and functions) and mixed groups (people in different units and at different levels). 

The people who want to work with us are usually interested in these questions:

We have reviewed our business strategy: how can we make sure we enable a culture that supports our new approach?

What cultural factors will support or hinder our strategic goals and efficiencies?

We are getting ready for structural change in our organisation – how can we make sure we lead this efficiently?

We are already deep into a process of transformation and change: how can we employ cultural factors to help us succeed?

Is our leadership practice helping us to create the culture we aspire to?


Contact Milda:

M.Autukaite@tavinstitute.org

Top image: Iva on Flickr

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