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Culture Reviews

Corporate Culture Reviews

Culture is the complex and unique integration of beliefs, values and expectations that is created by groups of human beings. It is visible in the type of behaviour that is encouraged or discouraged, by the stories that are told to each other and newcomers about the group and by the symbols that are meaningful to the group. We see it in different ethnic and national groups, but also in every organization. When the organization wants to change, shift or redirect the energies of the group, attention has to be paid to what kind of new culture is desired and how to achieve this within the context of the established culture. The results of a Corporate Culture Assessment provide the organization with a blueprint for what needs to be changed, with which groups and in within what kind of progressive time schedule. The root causes for dysfunction are identified with recommendations for targets and methods for change.

Corporate Culture Assessment

The usual steps in conducting a corporate culture assessment are:

  • Meetings with senior executives and human resource staff to understand the current issues and future goals for the organization
  • Culture is found in the communications of an organization so that all aspects of this area are collected and reviewed
  • Individual interviews are held with targeted management staff
  • Focus groups with employees may be appropriate
  • A report is developed and discussed with senior management which will include a description of the culture and recommendations for moving it more into alignment with the future vision and objectives of the organization

Case Report: Corporate Culture Assessment

Design and Facilitation of Culture Change Workshops

Cultural change requires that employees not only have information about desired changes, but also have the opportunity to discuss the reasons for these changes and the impact on them. It is part of the human condition that most people need to come to their own conclusions about what is best for them to do. These workshops provide a venue for learning, growth and decision-making on an individual as well as a group level. It is a much quicker approach to gaining support of new corporate directions, then letting each person go through their own phases of change – some for which it can take years and others who will never accept the changes. With the latter individuals, the workshops are a place to see more clearly what their decisions must be for their own success and well-being and this may be not staying with the new culture.

Case Report: Design and Facilitation of Culture Change Workshops

International/ Expatriate Culture Management

Despite the multicultural nature of many cities in the world, some individuals are more successful than others in making the change to working away from home in a new country. Research has clearly identified the characteristics of those that succeed in these changes, and those that don’t.

Sayer & Associates provides assessment and consultation on the selection of managers and professionals for expatriate assignments. This is followed up by ongoing coaching for these managers as they work to be effective in a new culture and with new colleagues.

For organizations, Sayer & Associates provides consulting on the integration of the corporate culture with the regional culture of sites that are a great distance from head office and the organization’s major centres of business. Through study and experience, we have learned which Organizational Development and Human Resources practices are not successfully exported from North America abroad (e.g. 360 management surveys are ineffective in China). Rather we work with our clients to find other, culturally appropriate methods to achieve the business goals that are important for a multinational corporation.



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