The “Red Pill” of Cultural Change: Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI)

The “Red Pill” of Cultural Change: Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI)

Are you seeking to understand why workers and management are not on the same page? Does your manager demand that you produce more work than you believe can be completed in a day? Do you have a micromanager who is quick to point out your errors and/or lack of efficiency? How about that rowdy boisterous team, are they overly engaging and collaborative to the level that it is making you uncomfortable? Are your unique ideas unappreciated or underutilized?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, you are in no way alone.  For years, many have battled to understand why management “just did not get it.” No doubt, some managers have the same sentiment as their employees.

If you would like to learn more about your culture and may be ready to consider change, I recommend the “Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument” (OCAI) – OCAI-Assessment. Like the “red pill” in the 199o movie, The Matrix, the OCAI can help you find the “truth of reality” in your organization, and knowledge is the first step toward enacting change.

According to authors Cameron and Quinn (2011) people are unaware of their culture until it is challenged until they have experienced a new culture, or until it is made overt and explicit. Their research has also found that organizational culture can impact individuals in many ways including morale, commitment, productivity, physical health, and emotional well-being. The OCAI can help you determine your organization’s culture and begin the process of addressing cultural change.

Is your organization considered a “Clan, Hierarchy, Adhocracy, or Marketing” culture?

Most organizations have developed a dominant culture style. An organization rarely has only one type. Often, there is a mix of the four organizational cultures that are described in the Figure below: Clan, Advocacy, Hierarchy, or Marketing (OCAI online, 2017).

Competing Value Framework with link in picture

Clan (Collaborate) –

Clan cultures are collaborative, family oriented environments that have a significant amount of interaction between the employees and management. Management is a part of the building and mentoring process for the team (Cameron and Quinn, 2011). Loyalty, tradition, and commitment are highly regarded, leaders assume parental roles, and this warmth trickles down to its internal/external customers (Cameron and Quinn, 2011).

 Hierarchy (Control) –

In a Hierarchy culture, you have a controlled, formalized, structured environment where policies and procedures are established, and protocol and boundaries are set (Cameron and Quinn, 2011).  Implemented for uniformity and control, those who run such organizational cultures are more concerned with pushing out consistent, efficient productivity to remain a step ahead of its competitors (Cameron and Quinn, 2011).

BlogspotInternal-External FocusAdhocracy (Create) –

The Adhocracy culture values the “creativity “that employees produce and foster in the workplace. Innovation and commitment are regarded over loyalty, tradition, and family. Success is governed by the new opportunities that creativity can render, for example, new innovative products such as the iPad. Without restrictions, employees are given the freedom to create.

Market (Compete) –

The Market culture is an aggressive, competing, results-driven culture.  Leaders drive employees to increase profitability and meet company objectives (Cameron and Quinn, 2011). These organizational cultures are very intense. The bottom line is to compete for results that establish and maintain a brand amongst its competitors while also increasing the organization’s market share.

Knowing your organization’s current dominant culture, as well as what is preferred by you and your fellow employees, creates an opportunity for the organization to retain quality people, increase profitability, generate innovative products while unifying and presenting consistent and quality branding. The OCAI assessment is a wonderful tool that can identify where you and your organization’s expectations lie and it can help further the discussion on how to bridge the gap between the two.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. How would you characterize the culture of your organization? Is it a Clan, Advocacy, Hierarchy, or Marketing culture?
  2. How effective is your organization’s culture? How might a different culture be more effective?

Reference:

Cameron, K.S., & Quinn, R.E. (2011). Diagnosing and changing organizational culture: Based on the competing values framework (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Giritli, H., Oney-Yazici, E. Gulfer T., Emarah Acar. (2013). The interplay between leadership and organizational culture in the Turkish construction sector.  International Journal of Project Management, 31, 228-238.  Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/figure/257094681_fig1_Fig-1-The-Competing-Values-Framework-Cameron-and-Quinn-1999

OCAI – Online. (2017, January 22).  OCAI Assessment. Retrieved from https://www.ocai-online.com/about-the-Organizational-Culture-Assessment-Instrument-OCAI/OCAI-Assessment

OCAI – Online. (2017, January 22).  Organizational Culture Types. Retrieved from https://www.ocai-online.com/about-the-Organizational-Culture-Assessment-Instrument-OCAI/Organizational-Culture-Types

Useful in Parts. (2013, May 15).  5steps in considering culture and business process improvement. Retrieved from http://usefulinparts.blogspot.com/2013/05/5steps-in-considering-culture-and.html

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Using baby steps to implement Cultural Change Efforts

Have you been involved in an organizational culture change, only to see your organization pick up the bad habits just as quickly as they vowed to destroy them?

In large organizations, cultural change is not something as easily undertaken as the conversation about it unveils.

Frustration faces many of us as we encounter how things are done versus how things should play out.

“Culture defines core values, assumptions, interpretations, and approaches that characterize an organization” (Cameron and Quinn, 2011, p. 35).

According to an article on OCAI’s website, Conditions-for-Successful-Organizational-Change many organization consultants are faced with the challenge of developing a cultural change model for an organization, just to see it quickly buried.  Why? Because of the hard work that revolves around getting people on the same page for one, getting them committed (for two), and three, keeping them committed.  Since we do not have control over another person’s will, this can be a daunting task. That, in a nutshell, is enough to rattle any involved in the change efforts, nerves.  Therefore before you say that you want a change in your company culture, beware that not only does it not come easy, it can come at the price, of stress and frustration.

Small Victories go a long way

One of the main things that can be adopted, according to “Diagnosing and changing organizational culture” (Cameron and Quinn, 2011), is “celebrating small” victories, no matter how small that victory may be. In fact setting certain benchmarks for those small victories can help maintain the change model instituted. Building and keeping momentum, are critical to the success of change efforts.

Employees have the opportunity to see that “yes, this cultural change can actually happen”, or “there is progress being made!”  Nothing excites an employee more than seeing that in which upper management has instituted come to pass.  Trust and reliability is established as they begin to see the change effort is not just another fad, you’re your CEO may have read about and decided to implement.  Therefore I urge you to implement celebrating small victories.  The moment doubt enters and spreads through your organization is the very moment your change efforts has just tanked.

Cameron, K.S., & Quinn, R.E. (2011). Diagnosing and changing organizational culture: Based on the competing values framework (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

 

“Meditation for healing the workplace ill’s” -The Imperfect Org

I read this enlightening article on the OCAI website that carefully detailed “Practical tips for positive leaders” (Bremer, 2016, para. 13). One of the statements that was made was,

“Practice openness of mind with a method such as mindfulness: train your brain to notice details but not judge. Simply mindfully notice what you observe” (Bremer, 2016, para. 13).

This is great advice when wanting to warrant a positive atmosphere inside the workplace, (as appreciative inquiry and positive psychologist promote).

However you should know that “will power” alone will not always conquer such “mindfulness”.  Some of us, like myself, need a little extra help.  Trust me, oh judgmental me has tried it in the past (without meditation) and came back unsuccessful.

Once you have made mindful observations in meetings or with co-workers think of how you can use this to build strength to your team. For me I have begun using positive attributes and meditating as a way of nourishing relationships.

When my work day is done and I am home relaxed, I practice focused meditation. By “meditating” and replacing any ill willed thoughts I’ve had towards leadership or employees, and refocusing my thoughts to something positive, I found myself more eager to go to work.

Instead of being judgmental, I take those details that I have mindfully noticed, and use them to generate positive thoughts that helps me better understand my coworkers (instead of being so ready to ridicule and point the finger).

Over time I began to notice I softened towards my coworker’s. And that major issue I had previously focused on, that made me sick to think about, was replaced with a healthy working relationship.

I am learning that in life there are many disappointments. As a result sometimes you just have to grieve an issue and keep it moving. Meditation helps to place a lot of that in perspective so you know when to utilitze what you have mindfully noticed, and what to simply let go.

Check out this great article from Marcella Bremer.  She has many, many more wonderful tips that can be utilized in the workplace.

Reference

Bremer, M. (2016). Positive Leadership: How to open up to Positive Possibilities?Retrieved from https://www.ocai-online.com/blog/2016/11/Positive-Leadership-How-to-Open-up-to-Positive-Possibilities?utm_source=ws20170312&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ows