Walking the Talk Blog

The role of measurement in culture and behaviour change

[fa icon="calendar"] 29-Mar-2018 07:18:00 / by Amanda Fajak

As the role of culture is better understood, everyone wants to measure and understand the impact of culture change and the behaviours that underpin it, from Boards to regulators, from advisors to employees on the front line.  We recently held a Culture Clinic in London on the subject of the role of measurement in culture and behaviour change and through the discussion, four key themes emerged:
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Culture measurement should have purpose

  • Measurement is either about building the business case, creating a baseline or tracking progress. Tracking progress makes sense when a clear culture blueprint has been defined and the link between culture and business outcomes is strong.
  • Tracking culture change should occur at 3 levels:
    • IMPACT – Am I seeing the culture I expect to see (Lead).
    • OUTPUT – Are the patterns of behaviour changing (Lag).
    • OUTCOME – Are the business results linked to the culture shifting (Lag).

The more focussed your culture objective, the more focussed your culture metrics

  • There is a tendency to have many metrics and broad dashboards when the goal of your culture change from a business perspective is unclear. 
  • If you find you have too many metrics, challenge yourself to step back and question whether you need to refocus the purpose of your culture effort. 

Measurement will not create change 

  • In the discussion, there was recognition that measuring was becoming a focus in and of itself. Whilst measurement helps keep people motivated, keeps change conscious and help course correct, it cannot be more important than the activities to actually create the change
  • There was discussion that a lot of culture change effort was being expended on system change and communication effort however there was a question whether there was there enough of a focus on aligning the Walk and Talk of leaders. 

Targets or objectives? 

  • There was recognition that the risk of cultural targets is that you drive compliance behaviour, however the dilemma discussed is that what gets measured gets done (Druker).

  • The group agreed there needed to be a balance between having targets for input and business outcome measures AND objectives around impact and output measures including:
    • Retest of 360 feedback of leaders.
    • Pulse tracking of impact of change.
    • Retest of a specific culture survey. 

To learn more about the role of measurement in culture and behaviour change download Walking the Talk's Measuring Culture eBook. 

Download our Measuring Culture eBook

 

Topics: Measuring culture, Behaviour change, Behaviour, Amanda Fajak, Culture change

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