So when we set out to review and revise our organisational culture, when new projects or mergers or reorganisations are in the pipeline then our chance of success will be considerably enhanced if we first take time to find out is actually going on. This doesn’t mean asking our direct reports if everything is okay and it doesn’t mean stopping a few people in the corridor to’ just see if they have any problems.’
Human nature being human nature, unless you already have an amazing open and interactive organisational culture any direct questions of this nature are likely to be seen as a threat and answered in the negative. That’s one reason why employee engagement is so much more effective if you move away from annual questionnaires and instead adopt online employee led engagement programs. And it’s also one reason why when you really need to find out what’s going on, you take time to properly scope and introduce a defined cultural assessment which takes input from all levels within the organisation.
Properly run, a cultural assessment can reveal so much about the organisation and about the way in which departments within the organisation interacts and are led. It can indicate problem areas and potential flashpoints as well as providing the basis for future developments. More importantly, it can provide a better indication of how things actually are rather than how others want you to think they are.
Does a tree falling make a sound? That’s a question for another time but what I can say is that if you are hearing the mood of the organisation from afar then the loss of one tree may be the least of your worries.