Why perform a culture assessment?

An adaptive, strong company culture IS a competitive advantage. Like a patent without an expiration date, it’s nearly impossible for competitors to gain an advantage when you have one.

Great company culture is also the fuel source for change. You may have an engine (great strategy) and a vehicle (great products and services) but fuel drives forward momentum. Too often, change efforts in an organization lack the juice that fuels the hard journey. Today’s organizational change efforts often feel like running on empty – people are burned out, lackluster, confused or uncertain.

In our Culture Builder Toolkit, we provide a complete roadmap for four stages in developing a roadmap to a strong, adaptive culture that can embrace change.

Corporate Culture Building

This 4-part blog series discusses the importance of Stage One: Assessing your organization’s culture.  How to perform an honest evaluation of your strengths and weaknesses that drag – or drive – high performance? Over the next month, we will address 4 questions related to culture assessment:

  1. Why perform a culture assessment? (the focus of this article)
  2. When is it important?
  3. What are the key success factors?
  4. How should culture data be used to support successful cultural changes in the organization?

And,  you may receive a FREE copy of our Culture Self-Assessment by signing up on our website for the Culture Toolkit Sampler.

Today’s blog focuses on Question 1: Why Perform a Culture Assessment?

Assessing the current state of your culture is the first step in helping the CEO/President and top executive team:

  • Explicitly define the desired culture they want to create, that will execute their business vision and strategy.
  • Signal to people that embracing change IS part of our company culture.
  • Clearly convey “what doesn’t change.” (eg, the company’s mission and values).

The benefits of culture assessment are many:

  • Employees feel the chaos and uncertainty they are living in day-to-day will be managed with a thoughtful process.
  • Uncovers unexpected positive levers of success.
  • Creates an intelligent process for linking points of view across the business and hierarchy
  • Starts a conversation that is long overdue
  • Fosters trust in leadership.

Companies like Zappos, Southwest Air and Google have made concentrating on corporate culture both famous and cool, for good reasons: These companies have demonstrated sustainable financial results and customer loyalty that grows directly out of their commitment to building and maintaining a strong corporate culture.

There is a new era of Cool Companies in the works: Leaders who make a clear stand on creating a great culture as a foundation of a high-performing company …. that is also fun to work for.  The bonus is an uncommon ability to manage and lead ongoing change. Talk about a talent magnet!

Here’s to being the new kind of Cool Company … and turbo-charging it all the way to the bank.


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