We work based on the understanding that employees’ specific perceptions and values are based on being part of a group. The group relationships formulate particular perceptions of ‘reality’ and thus determine ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. Leaders’ aspirations towards common goals and strategies are a necessity, but also difficult to get support for, because employees are constantly changing in response to the organisational structure, each other and their leaders. We find that change processes are hampered by employees being just as concerned about their own and their team’s needs as they are about the needs of the organisation and management. Employees therefore follow the management’s and organisational guidelines, working procedures, structures and goals when these make sense to them – and otherwise the employees ignore them! In our experience and from our theoretical standpoint, these are the conditions and part of the complexity of modern companies and management activities. It is therefore also important to keep this in mind when seeking to anchor changes and strategies in everyday work and cooperation.
Culture analysis as a starting point
Culture analysis allows managers and employees to exchange experiences and reach a new common understanding of future plans and the ‘game in play’ – and thereby understand the possibility space for the changes and management. We therefore seek through our culture analysis to:
- Explore the details of what employees see as their ‘reality’ – what is meaningful and what is not meaningful. How they talk about various factors, including how they view the management.
- Explore the relationship factors that exist in the organisation. Including trust relationships, power and power distances between management and employees, and between employees.
- Identify the paradoxes and challenges that management should examine and work with.
- Finally, in conjunction with employees and managers, the culture analysis can indicate how actions can be taken during the ongoing and desired changes.