Having driven culture changes across many organisations that I have been part of, I have always felt the need to measure culture building. It is important to know if the needle has moved on the intended change and then accelerate / course correct or make changes / adjustments as needed.
I am defining a framework below which will help emphasise measure culture on a digital meter in terms of the shift made over time intervals.
Step 1 - Define the Organisational Core Values
The first step is to define the organisational core values and this is ‘inside out’ definition of the organisational core habits that holds the enterprise together. It is necessary to validate this across the stakeholder continuously because the ‘what’ and ‘how’ define the way, we deliver stakeholder value. This is recommended to be administered by a culture expert who validates this with leadership, employees, customers, investors, suppliers and other key interfaces. This needs to be done over personal discussion face to face or calls etc. but questionnaire is not the right approach. Devising this and discovering FAQs along with recording inputs in a structured manner is key to the process. This step will help define the core values that establish the organisational way of doing things and what works and what does not! This will be seen through the stakeholders lens, so it’s now a fully validated set of discussion that organisation need to focus on.
For simplicity, let’s assume the following dimensions as examples:
Step 2 - Define the Culture Meter with Proficiencies of Behaviours
The above values need now to be defined in the culture meter with proficiencies of behaviours displayed like a BARS (Behaviourally Anchored Rating Scale). This exercise is a bit exhaustive and one needs to define the GOLD standards of behaviour for the set of values that anchors the enterprise culture. The culture meter is now ready for use.
How do we apply this?
Step 3 - Validate Leadership Behaviours with the Defined Values
Let us move to Step 3 and validate leadership behaviour of this defined values. Identify the top X number of organisational leaders who drive culture and change across the stakeholder community. Keep this set using the Pareto principle of 20:80 i.e. 20% of the leaders who drive 80% of the enterprise value /outcome. Map this 20% people for all important meetings they chair with their internal teams. After the meeting is over, the leader / chair of the meeting should necessarily discuss the core values practised during the meeting with the participants and he / she should plot transparently in front of the team and submit it in the digital meter.
Now a few things start happening post this:
- The leader has commenced the process of driving change and is doing a process of awareness and sensitization. This makes the culture tick. Score submission by the leader in front of the team enhances the credibility of the process.
- All leaders plotted for their respective meetings, will necessary need to go through this. It should not be discretionary.
- Initially the leader will realise that there are certain dimensions that they are not touching upon in any of their meetings / action and hence would consciously start making the steps to assimilate those neglected values.
- Every leader will also be able to see how they are feeling after a few meetings on their individual and cumulative scores across various values. This will make them conscious and practice better.
- All leaders aggregating into a team can be analysed as one team /department / function etc. Now leadership aggregation scores starts to emerge and we can slice & dice the top team.
- All the team scores will now aggregate into enterprise score making it easy to track at any point of time.
- The difference in enterprise scores over the periods will tell us the shift in culture and how the needle has moved.
This will clearly act as a starting point of leadership measuring themselves singularly and collectively as to how they are doing. It will now be easy to identify steps to accelerate this as the system matures and everyone starts contributing to the discussion. Leadership starts getting truly inspirational as now leadership will need to ‘walk the talk’ in front of their teams.
This is just the first step of ‘CULTURE METER’ as a concept to measure how culture ticks and measuring the movement / shift.
I am building further reinforcements to this as additional pillars to the framework to make it a robust and a dynamic real time gauge to see, feel and react instantaneously.
Part 2: Coming Soon.