Friday, 6 July 2012


I received this message following the post 'Culture Really Matters' which reminded me about the challenges we faced when Education Leeds was established...
"The culture of an organisation is so important. How do you move on from saying the words to actually making the cultural change? We have some brilliant organisational development plans, briefing sessions for staff. However, the actual day to day reality is wide of the mark!"
Culture is 'how we do things around here' and divides into three aspects that are inextricably linked:
  • Assumptions: beliefs, perceptions, thoughts and feelings.
  • Values: goals, strategies and philosophies.
  • Systems: visible, day-to-day organisational structures and processes.
Any organisation, in pursuit of excellence, needs to carefully consider the factors that shape culture, the characteristics of culture and the impact of culture.

1. Shaping Culture
  • individuals’ actions
  • vision, purpose and strategy
  • structure
  • performance measures
  • people practices
  • competitive context.
2. Characteristics of culture
  • philosophy, values and beliefs
  • symbols
  • norms
  • climate.
3. Impacting on culture
  • Communicate, Communicate, Communicate: communicate passionately and personally to ensure that everyone understands the new cultural values and how they are aligned to the organisation’s strategic direction.
  • Organise: develop interactive events through where everyone can engage directly with the substance of the cultural change and understand how their role in this will support the organisation’s future success
  • Lead: establish a leadership programme where everyone can measure their actions and behaviours against those expected in the new culture.
  • Provide Feedback: change reward and performance measurement systems to encourage the demonstration of new shared values.
  • Manage: revise management processes so that recruitment, induction, development and evaluation practices incorporate the new shared values.
  • Create Beautiful Systems: adjust systems, processes and procedures to reinforce the new culture.

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