Not a collective leap but a sum of individual strides.

While the Competing Values Framework provides a valuable lens for diagnosing organisational culture, the often-overlooked appendixes unfolds as a treasure trove of pragmatic tools and frameworks for change agents looking to make real impact.
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The Untapped Wisdom in Diagnosing and Changing Organisational Culture

In the dynamic landscape of organisational development, where change is a constant force, the book Diagnosing and Changing Organisational Culture by Kim S. Cameron and Robert E. Quinn still stands as a beacon for change agents. While the Competing Values Framework, introduced in the first part of the book, provides a valuable lens for diagnosing organisational culture, the often-overlooked appendixes unfolds as a treasure trove of pragmatic tools and frameworks for change agents looking to make real impact. Organisational change is not a collective leap but a sum of individual strides.

The Diagnostic Prelude: Understanding the Cultural Tapestry

The book provides a means of understanding and changing organisational culture in order to make organisations more effective. It provides validated instruments for diagnosing organisational culture and management competency; a theoretical framework for understanding organisational culture; and a systematic strategy and methodology for changing organisational culture and personal behaviour.

The first part of the book immerses readers in the Competing Values Framework, a robust tool featuring four distinct cultural quadrants—Create, Collaborate, Control, and Compete. This diagnostic phase equips change agents with a profound understanding of the current cultural makeup within an organisation, identifying areas for improvement and setting the stage for the transformative journey. Yet, organisational change is not a collective leap but a sum of individual strides. Understanding how all these intricate, individual strides sum up to the desired cultural change requires sensemaking. Even though this book does not go into how to manage collective change through sensemaking, it does provide a tailored approach to guide individuals through their personal change process. This tool not only gauges managerial competencies but, crucially, encourages a personalised analysis of the change needed on an individual level.

The Overlooked Wisdom of Personal Change

Beyond the Competing Values Framework lies an often-overlooked gem — the Management Skills Assessment Instrument (MSAI). This instrument offers a unique perspective, recognising that organisational change is a collective result of individual transformations. The MSAI guides team members in identifying personal changes crucial to supporting the broader cultural shift.

The authors emphasise the importance of making the change personal, urging individuals to analyse the changes they need to make on a personal level. The MSAI, found in Appendix B, provides a valuable resource for team members to assess the match between their current managerial competencies and the desired organisational culture profile. This self-reflection is crucial, acknowledging that the sum of organisational change is, in fact, the sum of individual changes.

Personal Change: The Catalyst for Organisational Transformation

The Management Skills Assessment Instrument not only offers a general idea of the alignment between managerial competencies and organisational culture but goes further by providing a roadmap for personal improvement. By scoring the MSAI and comparing it with a vast pool of manager profiles, individuals gain insights into their unique standing.

Appendix D explains how to craft personal improvement plans based on the MSAI insights. These plans become the stepping stones for individuals to enhance their managerial competencies, aligning them with the targeted cultural shift. The authors stress that the profiles shared in the book should not be simply taken as benchmarking information, underlining the nuanced approach required for these personal journeys.

Organisational Transformation is the Summation of Personal Change

As we champion systemic coaching and organisational change, the Management Skills Assessment beckons us to consider the personal dimension within the grand tapestry of transformation. Recognizing that change happens individual by individual, the MSAI becomes a pivotal tool for change agents navigating the sea of organisational change. 

In conclusion, let us not only appreciate the organisational change as a sum of the whole but also acknowledge the profound impact of individual changes. As we steer the course of change within our organisations, let us embrace the transformative power of the MSAI—a tool that transcends theory and emphasises the personal touchpoint in the intricate dance of organisational transformation. The pragmatic tools and frameworks shared in the book should be part of the toolkit of any change agent looking to make better change happen.

Cover of the book Diagnosing and Changing Organizational Culture

Diagnosing and Changing Organizational Culture: Based on the Competing Values Framework, Third Edition
By Kim S. Cameron, Robert E. Quinn
Released March 2011
Publisher: Jossey-Bass
ISBN: 9780470650264


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