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The Iceberg of Organizational Culture Change

Most people think of culture as the visible values and behaviors within an organization; shaped by employee perks and benefits, the office policies and environment, and the corporate brand and values.

These are all part of your culture, but like an iceberg, the majority of what drives the behaviors within your organization is unseen and largely inaccessible, far below the surface of what anyone in your company consciously thinks about.

“The way things get done around here” is our favorite catchall definition of organizational culture. We see it in the stories employees tell about the organization, the conversations they have with each other, and the way they go about their daily work.

But, these visible indicators are only part of the story. In order to assess organizational culture change, leaders must look far below the surface of what's driving their current ways of doing business.

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The Iceberg of Organizational Culture Change

  1. 1. Learnmoreatwww.gothamculture.com 30%ofU.S.employees areengagedatwork1 32%oforganizaonshave asteadysupplyofleaders atthetoplevels2 87%oftoday’sleaderscite cultureandemployee engagementasatop organizaonal challenge2 VISIBLE NormsandBehaviors HighTurnoverRate BusinessPerformanceSuffering DisengagedEmployees MisalignedCultureandStrategy NoClearUnderstandingofValues ResistancetoChange StagnantInnovaon LeadershipUnderdeveloped FrustraonwithCurrentProcesses LESSVISIBLE PersonalValuesandA tudes INVISIBLE CulturalValues,Assumpons Sources:1 Gallup,StateoftheAmericanWorkplace2014 2 Deloie,GlobalHumanCapitalTrends2015 AssessingTheNeedForChange 3ThingsLeadersCanDo ConstantlyAsk“WHY?” Whydowedoitthisway?Iftheansweris“That’sjusttheway we’vealwaysdoneit,”youmaybescratchingthesurfaceofa muchdeeperissue. DiveDeep Askyourselfwhataspectsofyourpersonalvaluesystemhaveled toyourcompany'ssuccessandhowanoverrelianceonthose thingsmaybeservingtocutyouoffattheknees. ConsultAnOutsider Findanoutsiderwhoiswillingtoexperienceyourorganizaon forawhile.Theymayseethingsyoudon'tandbeabletoqueson whyyoudothingsthewayyoudothem.
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Most people think of culture as the visible values and behaviors within an organization; shaped by employee perks and benefits, the office policies and environment, and the corporate brand and values. These are all part of your culture, but like an iceberg, the majority of what drives the behaviors within your organization is unseen and largely inaccessible, far below the surface of what anyone in your company consciously thinks about. “The way things get done around here” is our favorite catchall definition of organizational culture. We see it in the stories employees tell about the organization, the conversations they have with each other, and the way they go about their daily work. But, these visible indicators are only part of the story. In order to assess organizational culture change, leaders must look far below the surface of what's driving their current ways of doing business.

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