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Climate & Culture

Our definitions



“How things work around here”

Culture is a set of values, beliefs, behaviors, customs and attitudes that govern how people behave within organizations. Workplace culture, like societal culture, can take many forms.

Types of work cultures:

  • Clan: Employees behave like an  extended family. There’s a lot of mentorship, nurturing, and active participation by all members in this type of culture.  This is seen often in smaller companies, in organizations that are family-run, or that have been in business for many years.
  • Adhocracy: Employees are dynamic, risk-taking and innovative. Often seen in tech companies, startups, and similar organizations. There’s an inherently high level of performance and engagement in this type of work culture.
  • Market-Oriented: In a results-oriented and focused environment,  employees have a high focus on competition and achievements. This is often seen in established, high-performing companies.
  • Hierarchy: Employees work in a rigid structure, with controls, formal rules and policies. They expect to maintain stability, consistency and uniformity in their processes. This culture is often seen in the military and other organizations with formal structure, like healthcare or education.


“How we feel working around here”

Corporate climate is a person's emotional perception of their work culture and their reaction to it. It’s defined by the relationships we have and how we feel about the people around us. The culture impacts the corporate climate.

Types of Corporate Climate:

  • People-oriented: Focuses on perceptions of individuals who are working in the organization.
  • Rule-oriented: Based on established rules, policies and procedures in an organization.
  • Innovation-oriented: Encourages creative or new ways of doing tasks.
  • Goal-oriented:  Focuses on achieving organizational goals.



6 Steps to Culture & Climate Change

The six-step process capitalizes on your existing core strengths and skills, your unique mission, and the special organizational identity you’ve created over time. You are doing good things already. We enhance these things and support any needed changes.

We use industry-standard assessment tools to get a quick overview of cultural archetypes and current climate.  This guides our dialogue for your positive change experience.  

An option for customizing may include taking the top-management team through the six-step process in a "train-the-trainer" format.

1. Reach Consensus on the Current Culture & Climate

We begin by assembling a leadership team that consists of representatives from top management, employees and others important to the organization's overall success. They will be led in an assessment of the current internal culture and climate. From this information, we form a climate and culture profile based on consensus.

2. Reach Consensus on the Desired Future Culture & Climate

Now it's time to talk about the future. Team members are given some necessary guidance, but then allowed the freedom to imagine a future desired culture and climate. They will agree on the core elements of that vision and then develop an "Ideal Future Profile" together. From here we make tangible calculations to understand the future climate's impact on the desired culture. Next, we align strategies that sustain employee performance and engagement to reach that goal. These may be focused on organizational or professional development.

3. Determine What the Changes Will and Will Not Mean

Based upon the discrepancies between the current and future culture profiles, team members will reach consensus on which core culture attributes to emphasize or de-emphasize. After this they identify and reach consensus on the managerial strengths and competencies that will help the organization move toward the preferred future culture.

This approach is repeated with climate as its focus.

4. Identify Illustrative Stories

Telling stories is the simplest and most natural way to identify and illustrate the key values, orientations or behaviors desired in the new organizational culture.

Reaching consensus on climate will follow a similar process, but give more narrative energy to key attitudes, engagement and mindsets. This part of the process is essential as it ultimately gives rise to the deepest needs of the organization.

5. Develop a Strategic Action Plan

To inspire the desired Culture, team members reach consensus on what should be started, what should be stopped, and what should be continued for change to begin.

Climate is next on the table, and team members will work to agree on what organizational strategies need to me modified.

6. Develop an Implementation Plan

Finally, team members create a culture and climate change implementation plan, complete with timetables and short-term benchmarks, that will initiate the process of culture change. Targeting the themes that emerge from activities in Step Five, team members reach consensus on the four or five things that will receive the major portion of attention and energy.