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The Strategic CIO by Philip Weinzimer

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177
9
tHe IMportance of
underStandIng your
organIzatIonal culture In
BuIldIng effectIve teaMS
See what you’re doing wrong, laugh at it, change and do better.
Spencer Johnson
Who Moved My Cheese?
1
Organizational culture is a complex subject. Just ask Sni, Scurry,
Hem, and Haw, the four characters in the infamous book Who Moved
My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson, M.D. e four characters, two mice
and two little people, traverse a maze to nd cheese that keeps mov-
ing. How each responds to the moving cheese and how each character
helps the other navigate change is a lesson in organizational culture we
should all learn. e parable is a great example of how personnel in an
organization develop behaviors, sometimes conicting, in performing
their jobs. e book helps readers understand key concepts in chang-
ing organizational culture. If you are a C-suite executive, business
unit executive, director, or manager, you need to understand the key
concepts of organizational change. e culture of your organization
derives from the underlying values and behaviors personnel exhibit
as they work in teams, or independently, on programs, projects, and
individual work assignments. erefore, as a CIO, it is imperative for
you to understand what organizational culture is, why it is important,
how you measure it, and how you can change it. Following are the
chapter objective, key messages, and examples used.
178
the strategiC Cio
A. CHAPTER OBJECTIVE
1. Understand how the culture of your organization derives
from the underlying values and behaviors personnel
exhibit as they work in teams, or independently, on pro-
grams, projects, and individual work assignments.
2. Understand what organizational culture is, why it
is important, how you measure it, and how you can
change it.
B. KEY POINTS
1. A company’s business strategies have a direct bearing on
the cultural orientation required by the IT organization
as well as other business units.
2. To achieve company goals, personnel work together on
projects that align to business strategies.
3. Understanding the various cultural orientations, and
how they compete with one another, is an important
element in successfully achieving desired business
outcomes.
4. ere are four orientation cultures: collaboration, con-
trol, create, and compete.
5. Each dimension includes a set of underlying character-
istics exhibited by the organization. e orientation and
underlying characteristics compete with one another to
achieve specic outcomes. If your organization has an
internal focus, such as manufacturing, then the under-
lying characteristics focus on collaboration and con-
trol. If your organization has an external focus, such as
marketing or product development, then the underly-
ing characteristics focus to create value and compete
eectively.
179
understanding your organizational Culture
6. ere is no right or wrong culture orientation. You need
to dene the one that aligns best with your organiza-
tional goals. What is important is to know what your
organizational culture orientation is today versus what
it needs to be, in order to make the necessary cultural
adjustments to successfully deliver business outcomes as
dened by your company strategy.
C. EXAMPLES
Four Dierent Organizational Types
1. Hi-tech manufacturer
Culture Profiles for Four Organizational Types
2. Government agency
4. Start-up
Clan
collaborate
Clan
collaborate
Clan
collaborate
Clan
collaborate
Ad-hocracy
create
Ad-hocracy
create
Ad-hocracy
create
Ad-hocracy
create
Market
compete
Market
compete
Market
compete
Market
compete
Hierarchy
control
Hierarchy
control
Hierarchy
control
Hierarchy
control
3. Standard parts manufacturer

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