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Assessing Culture

To understand culture, we must understand the following:

1.       Context, also known as an organization’s system.  These include environment factors such as competitors, market conditions, business strategy, structure, mission, how you measure success.  These are all connected.

2.       Social Construct. We need to interpret facts as well as use them objectively.  In culture, these include: boss-employee relationships, team relationships, group boundaries and definition, communication within teams and from top down.

3.       Assumptions.  Organizations are often not aware of the basic assumptions of processes and priorities held by their leaders and employees.  These are important because they drive behavior and are the foundation of an organization’s culture.

4.       Reward and recognition systems (tangible and intangible)

5.       Coercion systems (what employees are threatened with if they fail)

6.       Artifacts – logo, office space, materials, dress, workstyle

7.       Future sense – how employees and leaders feel about their growth opportunities, their professional paths, the sustainable success of the organization.

8.       Sense of self – how employees and leaders feel about autonomy, their voices being heard and valued, if they can see and recognize their contributions individually and as part of a function and team.

9.       Structure – organization, function and team structure; stated and hidden values; diversity and inclusion; stated and hidden authority; turnover.


How do you know if your organization has the right culture?  How do you create the culture you want?  Can an incorrect or poor culture be improved?  How do you maintain culture?

To answer these and other critical questions, and to help you create the right program for your organization, Jaya Bohlmann has created a proprietary 6-step program that begins with surface and physical observations, and then graduates to deeper levels of behavior.

6 Steps:

1.       Discuss situation, goals and needs with leadership team 

2.       Assess current culture

3.       Assess areas of desired change and change readiness

4.      Define the New Culture (key behaviors, artifacts, beliefs)

5.       Create strategy for changing to the new culture, including measuring progress.  This will be done using the Designing Change model, customized for your organization.

6       Implement the strategy

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