ProCulture: Transforming culture in organisations, elevating Change Management.

Culture: it matters, it can be measured, it can be managed. Discover ProCulture®.

author picture Article written by Renaud de Lombaert

Change is never easy. You only make it happen if you make it stick. And that is the hard part of Change Management. There are many reasons why change initiatives fail to deliver lasting results. Think of change fatigue, a lack of change capabilities or insufficient input from frontline employees[1]. Coming top of the list, those are major roadblocks along the change journey. Yet, the key to long-term success has a lot to see with our surroundings and the way we do things “here and now”: culture.

A whopping 84% of the respondents to a large-scale survey led by the Katzenbach Center said that culture is critical to business success – and to Change Management, for that matter. But less than half thought that culture was effectively managed. Clearly, people are aware of the importance of culture. So why is it so painfully obvious that organisations overlook culture, or simply miss the mark?

Culture often feels elusive. Culture escapes our control, or so it seems. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Culture in organisations can be mapped out, measured and managed. ProCulture is there to help you "name it to tame it". Get a sneak peek at this powerful new tool.

Understand it.

Get to the roots. The first step to take control and adopt a more holistic approach to Change Management is to generate insights into your organisational culture. Some aspects are visible, others are buried below the surface. Enter the culture maze. It is a daunting challenge, but once you understand the underlying premise of a specific behaviour, you can laser-focus on changing it.

Keep in mind that there is no right or wrong, only specific organisational purposes. Is lower power distance better than higher power distance and hierarchy? Do collectivist cultures produce better team results?  Does entrepreneurship go hand in hand with low uncertainty avoidance? There are no right or wrong cultural traits. It all depends on the values and purposes of your organisation.

Operationalise it.

To use culture strategically, you need to operationalise it.

A powerful tool to identify your strengths and weaknesses. ProCulture makes cultural mapping eas(ier), elevating your Change Management capabilities. A robust analytical tool, it combines surveys, interviews and focus groups to measure culture in organisations. With ProCulture, you get the big picture and actionable insights.

6 dimensions and many more subcategories. ProCulture helps you assess culture in organisations along six main dimensions, including:

  • Individualism – What word do people use to frame discourses: me or we?
  • Power distance – Do people question decisions?
  • Uncertainty avoidance – Do people dare to step into the unknown?
  • Emotional expressiveness – Do people feel allowed to display emotional states?
  • Performance orientation – Do people focus on performance and continuous improvement?
  • Assertiveness – Do people feel comfortable voicing their own concerns and opinions?

A 4-step process. If you are familiar with Change Management, you know that you should manage change as a structured process that moves the organisation and its people from their current state through their transition state to their future state. After data collection or mapping, you proceed to an analysis of the cultural gaps between the current and desired states (gap-fit). Select the key areas to focus on, prioritise and start planning the transition on solid ground.

Change it.

If culture in organisations can be measured, it can be managed … and changed.

Quicker than you think. You might still think that one of the major hurdles to cultural change is that it is too time-consuming. Some organisations have proved this wrong. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, and you have to match the approach to your organisational culture. But we found that some elements can get you there faster.

Get these 5 things right, set yourself for success.

  • HR only can’t bear the burden of changing culture in organisations. Executive sponsorship is key.
  • Align strategy and culture, or else, everything will stay the same. Culture always wins.
  • The devil is in the details: what is being said formally and informally is a big part of our culture. Change the stories, change the culture.
  • Select a few critical behaviours and values to change. More is not always better.
  • Track your progress, stay the course!

Don’t stay one step away from real and lasting change. Our new White Paper tells you all you need to know about cultural transformation and Change Management. Download it for free and get in touch for more information on ProCulture. We’re here to help.


[1] Strategy& - PWC (2013), Culture’s role in enabling organizational change. Survey ties transformation success to deft handling of cultural issues. Also see Strategy & (2013) Global Culture and Change Management Survey.

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