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We are based in London, UK




Culture Change



A model of culture change to create sustainable outcomes, developed by Nadine Exter whilst at Cranfield University. Copyright Cranfield University.



Organisational culture

Defined by academics Deal & Kennedy as 'The way things get done around here', organisational culture can be invisible but still permeate across every department, location and employee group with great effect. How employees behave, treat each other, value business assets and stakeholders, and how they prioiritise and achieve tasks is directed by how well - or badly - organisational culture works. But each organisation is unique because of their particular context, employee group, stakeholders, sector, and context and climate in which they operate. Therefore, 'how things get done' is also unique, and needs to be identified, aligned with responsible and purposeful strategic intent, and managed well.



How We Can Help

Culture Diagnosis: 'As is' State

Does your organisational culture help or hinder you in strategy achievement? Often, certain components of culture - such as control systems or how power is used - can discourage the behaviours (e.g. productivity, innovation) you are trying to create to deliver your strategy. This does not mean your culture is negative - simply that it needs to be fully identified and diganosed for what works and what does not work.


More recent approaches such as MoralDNA, or the Culture Web, are useful but I argue they do not capture the full complexity of what culture encompasses. Further, a diganostic tool works when it talks directly to what it is you are trying to achieve - new behaviours, embedding a sustainability strategy, facilitating a new corporate strategy, or structural changes and integration of new divisions for example. A systems-approach to diagnosis can provide better insight and direction as it includes a wide breadth and depth of cultural components.


Diganostic Tool

We use the thorough specially-developed Culture Diagnosis tool - diagrammed above - to undertake a Culture Diagnosis specific to what it is you are trying to achieve. Through interviews, surveys, data analysis, stakeholder assessment, site observations, communications & messaging assessments, control system analysis, and strategy and leadership review we can provide a detailed diagnosis of what your Culture is, what works, and what may not.


Culture Diagnosis Report

Following analysis we provide a report and presentation detailing the As is state, SWOT analysis, examples of outcomes and impacts, and first insights into what works and what changes could better facilitate what it is you are trying to achieve.


Culture Strategy: ''To be' State

We have found that following a diagnosis, our clients recognise strengths and weaknesses of their organisational culture that need to be enhanced or changed. The next step is to create the strategy to do this.


The Case for Change

At this point we can help with developing the business case and Board Report of what, why, how, when, and costs and resources needed. The 'Case for Change' report can articulate the need and desired impact to help with achieving Board support.


Visioning your 'To be' State

Within - or sometimes prior or alongside developing the Case for Change - it is useful to identify what the desired 'To be' state is. What do the outcomes look like when you have a culture that successfully enables strategy success? What cultural components specifically will be present and a unique asset? This Visioning is best done with a cross-functional team who represent different parts of the business and have some level of responsibility for either people, development, strategy or delivery. We can facilitate this through a series of one-to-one meetings, research, and then a Visioning Workshop to identify the desired 'To be' state.


Culture Change Strategy

The strategy identifies how to make the change, who will drive it, and what specific workstreams are needed to organise the programme. We can develop this with or for you, and coach you through how to align this with other change programmes and the overall corporate strategy. The strategy sets out how to move from 'Asi is' to 'To be', with specific goals and targets, projects that drive the change, and a suitable management and governance approach to lead the programme to success. 




Culture Creation: Implement

Implementation works well with a set of best practice programme management techniques, via an Implementation Roadmap we can develop for you, and guide you through over the duration of the programme. We can also take on specific project delivery, such as Employee Engagement surveys, developing and growing a Champions Network or sculpting internal communications and messaging.


Implementation Roadmap:

  • We can develop your roadmap, as a timeline and by outcomes, broken down into specific projects. This provides an overview of your programme management, and also how each project contributes to delivery. We also recommend:
  • A coordinated Driving Team with oversight of the 'Moving parts' and the short and longer term goals
  • An Implementation Team reporting to the Driving Team, driving specific projects and tactics
  • A clear management approach for input, output and outcome tracking
  • Clear Change team communication, coordination and engagement and motivation

​Project Delivery

  • We can help with project delivery and management, whether it be rolling out a Champions Network for nurturing employee ownership, amending Internal Comms so as to support two-way communication, or finding collaboration projects cross-departments (e.g. sustainability and HR or Operations) that demonstrate the change desired whilst also delivering specific targets.


Sustain Culture

Sustaining the culture you need works when mindset, behaviours and values are embedded within the employee base and systems & processes that direct their behaviour. This often requires a longer term approach, as fundamental shifts may be needed. We call these shifts 'DNA Shifts' as they focus on deep, embedded assumptions and behaviours.


DNA Shifts (examples)

  • Changes to how rewards and remuneration work, so that the right behaviours are rewarded
  • Revisiting leadership modeling, so as to model and cascade certain behaviours and expectations
  • Complementing existing training to develop - for example - intrapreneurship, championing, and Values Ambassadorship.


We can help you identify what longer term, deeper changes are needed to sustain your Culture Change journey for the long term, and then guide you on rolling out these changes. We can undertake periodic reviews and assessments to track progress and suggest course-corrections if necessary.



Case Studies



Diagnosing Culture: Case study

Case Study Culture Change DIagnosis.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [52.3 KB]



Culture Implementation: Case study

Culture creation.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [37.2 KB]

Culture Implementation and Sustain: Embedding ZeroWaste into Culture

Case study in development

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Copyright © Nadine Exter, 2017. All rights reserved.