In the previous two posts (here and here), I have looked back at a workshop I ran with a new management team. Its aim was to surface and explore the taken-for-granted assumptions within the relevant part of the ‘parent’ organization, as a basis for reflection on the managers' aspirations for their own business. I felt that this raised awareness would help them to understand the impact that they would have, as managers, on the emergence of cultural assumptions within the new business.
Six main themes had been identified during the workshop, which the most senior manager present had then translated into a set of ‘cultural’ statements. As explained in the earlier posts, he had couched these in wholly positive terms, whereas the original source data was much more negative in tone. This threatened to shift the focus of the subsequent sessions away from an exploration of the underlying dynamics of organizational culture, to a more conventional ‘design, build and communicate’ approach to cultural change.