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Culture workshop


Hi there, I'm looking for some advice. Were currently reviewing our retial induction programme, and one area we want to explore further is culture, and the importance of living the values of our business across multiple sites. Does anyone have examples of work they have done, or encountered that may be useful insights? Thanks for your help. Leighton Atchison-Warne

3 Responses

  1. Culture workshop
    Culture is a broad concept and has a variety of definitions. Generally it is accepted that culture represents the enduring patterns of corporate behaviour or ‘programming’ of the corporate mind. Culture is enduring and difficult to change.

    My recommendation would be to explore a higher level of analysis and understanding; one which is more amenable to change and which impacts individual and organisational performance to a greater extent. We call this ‘climate’. Climate is a well researched and validated unit of analysis . It is also scalable applying equally to climates created by individuals, within small teams and across organisations. It has been shown that leadership behaviour has a direct relationship with climate and climate with productivity. Thus teams have climates but so do departments, organisations, and indeed countries.

    Many factors affect climate but the advantage is that it is highly influencable and therefore worth understanding and manipulating to create high performance.

    If you want to understand climate, how to assess it and the benefits of doing so have a look at these links and the papers list and give me a ring.


    Adrian Terry
    Director, Achievement Advance! Ltd
    +44(0)7919221989 /

  2. Re-Frame it
    Hi there,

    Culture is a difficult concept to get your head around, but one way to help is to re-frame it. This is a creative thinking technique that works well in this type of scenario. I would suggest one of two similar approaches, depending on who the target audience is, and what they already know.

    1. Decide internally what your organisation would be if it were a person, a sport, a food, a colour, a car, and animal etc. Then, give this list to your new starters, and ask them what characteristics they associate with each of the items listed. Hopefully, this should reveal a number of the cultural characteristics of your organisation! You can then summarise with discussions about what these characteristics mean in practice.

    2. Ask delegates to suggest what your organisation would be it were a person, a sport, a food, a colour, a car, and animal etc. Ask them why they have chosen these things. Look for common aspects, challenge things that you think are incorrect and again, lead into a discussion about what the desired behaviours look like in practice.

    Hope this is helpful.

    Sheridan Webb

  3. culture is as culture does
    In my experience, it’s important to ‘keep real’. The culture is the one that people experience as staff and as customers, and it’s easy to kid oneself at a corporate level. It’s also easy to make people cynical by insisting that the culture is one thing when they can see by people’s every day behaviour that it’s something different. I’ve found that a good way to describe the actual or espoused culture is to use multiple choice mini-scenarios of a “what would you do?” type, as a starter. Or have “what would we do here?” as the key question. This is also a way of giving people a practical idea of what the culture is in action, and to learn ways of behaving that match it.

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