Beyond Cultural Fit with Silverside’s Collaborative Culture Assessment

by | Jun 26, 2018 | PACE approach

cultural fit

Silverside’s Collaborative Culture Assessment provides a structured approach for creating a heatmap of your culture. This heatmap describes what is important, what is valued, what normal behaviour looks like, and how people treat one another in your organisation. Your heatmap provides a point-in-time statement on collaboration in your culture, which can be used when planning how to become a collaborative business. It can also be used as a strategic tool for enhancing the culture.

As a strategic tool, the heatmap offers:

  • An independent profile for examining the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to collaboration based on the current cultural composition.
  • An analysis tool for examining which cultural values are currently under-represented in your organisation. Knowing what is lacking provides the opportunity to ask whether those values should be cultivated and developed.
  • A structured way of understanding the collaboration challenge for a particular team, group or department — any intact and inter-relating subset of the organisation — using the Core Quadrant Compass. This provides an opportunity for coaching a particular team on how to address their collaboration challenge, or considering how to introduce new talent strategically to add complementary qualities to a particular team or group. The first intervention aims to shape current culture through learning new skills, while the second attempts to add cultural resilience by strengthening the internal structure of the team.
  • A way of overcoming homogeneity in group culture, one which becomes closed to new ideas and change. Using the results of your Collaborative Culture Assessment allows consideration for the role that diversity and difference can play in strengthening a team.

Beyond Cultural Fit

Using your cultural heatmap for strategic analysis offers a way of avoiding hiring for cultural fit, an approach that has become an excuse for hiring new employees who are like existing ones. It provides an alternative: hiring for cultural transformation driven from a strategic viewpoint on how collaboration can become more beneficial and resilient within your organisation. It is focused on adding to and improving the culture, not merely replicating what already exists.

Here’s how to use the Collaborative Culture Assessment as a strategic tool:

  1. Select the starting level of analysis. This could be a particular team or group, or the whole organisation. Locate the heatmap profile for your chosen unit of focus. If you haven’t created the baseline heatmap yet, now’s the time to make that happen.
  2. Check the date on the last heatmap for the particular unit, and evaluate its currency. If it is a couple of years old, it may not accurately reflect the current cultural composition of the unit if new collaborative behaviours have been developed, or if the talent composition of the unit has changed significantly (by 40% or more). If necessary, repeat the assessment process to create an up-to-date heatmap.
  3. Schedule a discussion for strategically evaluating the current cultural composition, and analysing where strength could be added through complementary cultural values.
  4. Use the learnings from your discussion to guide future talent development and recruitment activities – within the current team when the team can be coached to new behaviours, and beyond the current team when new talent is required to create transformation.

Take the Collaborative Culture Assessment – to baseline and strategise.