The 12 Areas of Organizational Culture: High Degree of Adaptability

An organization’s effectiveness is a reflection of it’s culture. This blog series will explore the 12 areas of cultural assessment that Goodnight Consulting has developed to evaluate an organization’s culture. To watch the overview video, go here.

“When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” -Benjamin Franklin

High Degree of Adaptability | Goodnight Consulting

Defining Questions

Are organizations flexible and willing to innovate?

Can new processes be implemented without pushback?

Is the inertia of traditional approaches difficult to overcome?

“We’ve always done it this way!”

Change is inevitable in any industry or walk of life. Those individuals and organizations that are prepared for change will be in the best position to deal with adversity and capitalize on opportunity. We often ask clients if they drew their desired organizational structure, process, or procedure on a whiteboard, if it would look like what they have now. Frequently, they answer with a quick and emphatic “No.” When we ask why they haven’t made the changes that would improve their organization, they usually point to a lack of capacity to make those changes. Instead of adapting and improving, they choose to continue operating with inefficiencies, workarounds, and “Band-Aids.”

A good indicator of adaptability within power plants is the work control process. Some organizations seem to be using workarounds constantly. Others require far more approvals than are prudent or necessary. To diagnose the root of the problem, we probe stakeholders with the Five Why’s (at about the fifth “why”, we typically find the real reason certain conditions exist). “We’ve always done it this way,” is something we often hear. This attitude is often persistent, even when inefficiencies are obvious to everyone. The question then is whether the organization truly lacks the capacity or willingness to make the change. When acceptance of a sub-optimal status quo exists, it almost always points to more significant cultural challenges within the organization.

Ways to Improve Adaptability

Foster (and schedule) discussions about innovative ideas and approaches.

Know your limits; don’t let your organization get bogged down with too much change at once.

Adopt innovative approaches that are worthy of investment.

Accommodate unusual requests within reason and document lessons learned from those requests.

Goodnight Consulting maintains a confidential, proprietary database of cultural assessments, which we use to develop benchmarks for our clients. Our evaluations are based on decades of experience in the utility industry. If you find that your organization is weak in one of our 12 areas, please contact us to learn how we can help you improve.


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