Building a Tool for Cultural Diagnosis

I’m a culture nerd. I love organizational dynamics, team dynamics, exploring patterns of behaviour and helping people shift those to achieve their goals. I love the complexity of it, the challenge of it, and the limitless ways in which organizations can enact their own cultures. My favourite projects have yielded stories about how people have acted their way into new, more desirable cultures and have helped people (including themselves) in the process.

Given my culture-nerdliness, I have been searching for a diagnostic tool that is solidly based on the cultural theories of leaders in the field like Otto Sharmer, Chris Argyris, Edgar Schein. I wanted something comprehensive that didn’t just say “hey, what’s your culture like?” but instead helps people to diagnose their culture in relation to what they want to be. Because we’re in the innovation business, the map I believe our present and future clients need reflects not just where they are at, but also where they need to be to be successful in our changing world.

What has emerged is The Moment Culture Scan.

Here’s what the Culture Scan does:

  1. It sparks focused conversation about desired culture and our lived culture which are not always the same
  2. It reveals levers for change and cultural opportunities so you can thoughtfully intervene
  3. It helps make sense of the complex nature of culture, through co-creation and reflection
  4. It makes explicit those things which have become invisible thus allowing us to intervene, change, and shift ways of doing and being
  5. It tracks progress and change over months and years, and becomes a shareable artefact for new team members

It is based on some strong points of view:

  1. Mapping culture is a collective activity where multiple perspectives are essential and conversation is the key
  2. Building aspects of your culture that encourage innovation are no longer optional, they are essential
  3. The future of work is here, and every organization can benefit from looking at how they want to shape a culture for that future
  4. Your unique organizational flavour matters and should be mapped

In the coming weeks, we will be testing the tool with more clients, and sharing the results and iterations with you. To stay current with the updates, sign up for our newsletter, or look for the hashtag #culturescan.