Cultural Assessment

Landes & Associates offers a unique Cultural Assessment instrument that can be used by any team to reveal how they view their organization’s current culture values compared to its target culture values.

The instrument is based on 40 value statements that have been identified and validated to reflect different culture types through a rigorous research and development process.  Each person on the team completes the assessment, and then all of the team responses are complied and run through a computer program that provides a composite team score on each of the 40 value statements.

The process is always enlightening, and it points specifically at the areas where the biggest gaps need to be closed between where the team is now and where they want to be with the organization’s cultural values in the future.

With management teams, a follow-up exercise is often conducted in which each participant identifies and shares specific actions and behaviors that they will Stop … Start … Continue to support the shift to the target culture values.  Those actions are reviewed first within the team that participated in the assessment. Later, each manager reviews the action plans with the teams of people who report to them. Then they periodically connect with their teams to review the progress that’s being made on closing the gaps and achieving the target culture.

It’s a powerfully effective and revealing exercise. In addition to providing actionable guidance on how to imbed cultural values, it also helps leaders with team bonding and alignment on future direction.

The combined team responses reveal which of the following dimensions describes both the current and target cultures.  The detailed definitions below explain the relative strengths and weaknesses of each dimension.

To learn more, contact Les Landes at 314-664-6497 or

Aligned Dimension – Focuses on optimizing employee empowerment and commitment. Organizations that score high on this dimension demonstrate a high concern for people, coupled with strong performance expectations. Researchers and practitioners from multiple disciplines have reported a positive association between these values and organizational objectives and key measures of performance. Aligned values are also identified as being responsible for their organization’s corporate evolution. These values include sharing a sense of purpose, demonstrating mutual trust, participating in decision-making, setting high standards of excellence, and increasing the capability and marketability of employees through training and development.  Back to List of Culture Types

Innovative Dimension – Focuses on change and creativity. Organizations that score high on this dimension place a high priority on developing new markets and products. In many cases, innovative cultures are far ahead of the customer in defining new applications, opportunities, and products that create new markets and generate new sources of revenue. While the process of innovation varies widely, the values that facilitate these efforts are remarkably consistent. These values include willingness not to focus on the short term, drive to improve, acceptance of mistakes, flexibility in jobs, and freedom to act. Innovative cultures are most often found in small firms, start-ups, or separate organizational divisions because they are less likely to be hampered by organizational constraints and commitment to the status quo. Back to List of Culture Types

Caring Dimension – Focuses on relationships. Organizations that score high on this dimension place a high priority on looking after the well being of their members. These organizations are often described as being like a club or family. Members are expected to “fit in.” That means avoiding conflict or direct confrontations, covering other people’s mistakes, being sensitive to the satisfaction of the work group, and following the organization’s unwritten rules of social behavior. The emphasis is more on social adaptation than performance. In these organizations, employees expect long-term employment, and the organization is usually very concerned about maintaining a reputation as a good corporate citizen. Back to List of Culture Types

Stable Dimension – Focuses on maintaining the status quo. Organizations that score high on this dimension place high priority on reliability and control to maximize shareholder/owner profits. Organizations with this value set achieve competitive advantage by using proven methods to serve existing markets. These organizations are usually conservative and averse to risk-taking. Members tend to study any new services, products, and ideas repeatedly until they are completely sure they will be successful in implementing them. This culture is identified by management hierarchies, where decision-making is set apart form execution and there are clear lines of authority and accountability. This culture is well suited to stable, predictable environments in which organizations can succeed by building highly structured, controlled systems. Back to List of Culture Types

Results-Driven Dimension – Focuses on outcomes. Organizations that score high on this dimension are results-oriented and have a strong bias for action. Behaviors such as taking initiative, working long hours, and being competitive are rewarded. There is often an emphasis on making investments pay in the short run. Although risk-taking and creativity are important in this culture, these behaviors can be discouraged by the penalties for failure. In these organizations, immediate results are what counts, and individuals are, at times, expendable. Back to List of Culture Types